CyberGhost VPN’s Quarterly Transparency Report – July, August, September 2022

October is here, so you know what that means. No, I’m not talking about Halloween. 

Candy is nice, but having peace of mind in the age of data-mining is much nicer. 

That’s why it’s time for a new chapter in our Transparency Report. This time, we’ll present the legal requests we received in July, August, and September 2022

Let’s unravel the numbers together, and see what goes on behind the scenes at CyberGhost VPN

Legal Requests – Q3 Edition

173,044

Over the past 3 months we received 173,044 legal requests. Compared to our Q2 edition, we notice a 16% increase in overall requests.

To easily understand them, we’ll split these numbers into 3 main categories:

  1. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) complaints when copyright holders inform us that one of our IP addresses was used to distribute copyrighted material. 
  2. Malicious activity flags when authorities or domain owners report that one of our IP addresses was used for cyber attacks. 
  3. Police requests when law enforcement authorities inform us that a criminal investigation led them to one of our IP addresses.

The vast majority of these requests often ask  for some form of user data. We’re completely unable to comply with these requests. We abide by a strict No Logs policy, and follow Privacy-by-Design principles, which means our service is specifically configured to prevent storing user data. We don’t know anything about you or what you do on our servers, and it’s just how we like it.

It’s why we built the tools to keep you and your data safe and private online. And in this Transparency Report we want to show you what steps we take to continuously secure your data.

Let’s go through each category one by one for more details.

DMCA Complaints

95,749

DMCA complaints make the biggest percentage of overall requests we receive. This edition, the number sits at 55.3%.

The monthly breakdown looks something like this:

JulyAugustSeptember
10,54341,65243,554

In our previous edition we reported 143,807 DMCA complaints. This marks a 33.4% decrease. Most notably, July is the outlier with the fewest number of complaints. Here’s how the situation evolved in the past 6 months. 

July is a popular time for taking a vacation, which might explain why it’s an exception. Otherwise, the number of complaints is fairly consistent.

Malicious Activity Flags

77,286

We receive malicious activity flags for different types of cyberattacks, including:

          • Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks
          • Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attacks
          • Botnet attacks
          • Suspicious login attempts
          • Automated spam
          • Various types of scams

They make up 44.6% of all requests we received these past 3 months: 

JulyAugustSeptember
6,48341,24729,556

Compared to 4,726 activity flags in our Q2 report, that’s a staggering 1535% increase. We can notice a sixfold uptake in July, and a sudden increase in August.

August 2022 wasn’t a good month for cybersecurity. The number of cyberattacks increased globally since the Russian invasion into Ukraine, and August had a notable spike in cybersecurity incidents. Cybercriminals were predominantly busy targeting various state institutions and large corporations. Cybersecurity experts estimate that around 97 million accounts were breached this month. Among the victims, we can include:

          • LastPass
          • Warsaw Municipal Police
          • Kashmir University
          • The Bulgarian Food Safety Agency
          • Finland’s Parliament
          • Marymount Manhattan College
          • Streaming media service Plex
          • Atlantic Dialysis Management Services
          • The Peruvian Congress
          • North Dakota Workforce Safety & Insurance
          • One of the largest private providers of correctional healthcare in Georgia and Louisiana, CorrectHealth

The list is by no means exhaustive. 

We try to mitigate abuse on our servers usually by blocking offending ports and domains. Our team’s efforts led to a 28% decrease in malicious activity flags in September. We’ll be monitoring the situation further.

Police Requests

9

As usual, police requests make up the tiniest fraction of overall requests. This edition, they account for 0.1% of requests. The monthly breakdown look like this:

JulyAugustSeptember
702

Compared to our previous edition, police requests decreased by 55%. Most notably, in August we didn’t receive any requests. This is something we haven’t seen since January 2020. We can actually see the sudden downturn starting August.

Busy Does It

Looking ahead at our mission of providing powerful security tools, we’ve been busy behind the scenes. We don’t want to bore you with the nitty gritty technicalities of code writing, so we’ll focus on our more substantial achievements. 

We Underwent an Independent Audit

We invited Deloitte, one of the Big Four global firms, to conduct an independent audit and review our No Logs policy. For this, Deloitte inspected our VPN server network, its configuration management, and our token-based dedicated IP system, and examined to which extent these match our privacy policy.

We’re happy to announce that after an extensive review on our systems, Deloitte found that we abide by our strict No Logs policy. You can read the full report in your CyberGhost VPN account

We Expanded Our Dedicated IP Locations

We know sometimes you need a static IP that only you can access. With our innovative token-based dedicated IP system, we ensure you get superior anonymity. Not even we know what dedicated IP is assigned to you, so we can’t ever trace your activity back to your account. What you do online is your business only.

That said, we’re aware not everyone needs an online experience based in the US. This is why we’ve expanded our locations, and now offer IPs in:

          • Australia: Sydney
          • Canada: Montreal, Toronto
          • France: Paris
          • Germany: Frankfurt
          • Japan: Tokyo
          • Netherlands: Amsterdam
          • Singapore: Singapore
          • Switzerland: Zurich
          • UK: London , Manchester
          • US: New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Las Vegas

We’re Building a Faster Network with 10Gbps Support

We’re constantly updating our network to suit your needs, and the advent of 5G technology made it clear: performance matters more than ever. We want to ensure CyberGhost VPN is up tlo all speed-related challenges. We rolled out our 10Gbps servers. More server bandwidth translates to better speeds and more reliable connections, no matter what you do online. This makes CyberGhost VPN a perfect choice for streaming, playing online games, and other data-heavy activities. 

We Added More Streaming-Optimized Servers

We’re passionate about online security but as movie buffs ourselves, we could never compromise on our entertainment options. We optimized CyberGhost VPN to let you stream securely without snoopers monitoring your streaming history or throttling your connection. 

We’ve added new streaming-optimized servers for the following services:

          • Paramount+ (Available with our servers in: US)
          • SRF (Available with our servers in: Switzerland)
          • HBO Max (Available with our servers in: Spain, Finland, Norway, Denmark)
          • RTE (Available with our servers in: Ireland)
          • Molotov TV (Available with our servers in: France)

Stream the best Nordic thrillers, or cry and cheer during popular championships with CyberGhost VPN!

We’re Adapting the Privacy Hub to Match Our Global Audience

Staying on top of the latest data breaches or malware isn’t easy. It can be even harder if you factor in a language barrier. As it’s our educational initiative, we want The Privacy Hub to be accessible to our Ghosties worldwide. We’re taking steps to release our articles in different languages.

Read all things cybersecurity in:

Enjoy! 

Bonne lecture ! 

Viel Spaß beim Lesen! 

¡Buena lectura!

Going Steady

We have a long history of safeguarding online data. We’re keeping 38 million Ghosties safe, and it’s not a responsibility we take lightly. This is why we always strive to be better. Better server coverage, better performance, better compatibility. We’re taking CyberGhost VPN to the next level.

We have a lot of goodies planned, and we’re planning to share them all with you right here on the Privacy Hub. Make sure you keep up with all our service updates and cybersecurity tips!

And in case you missed them, make sure to check out our previous editions in 2022.

Until next time, stay safe and secure!

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