CyberGhost Transparency Report
CyberGhost Is No One's Honeypot!
CyberGhost defends privacy as a basic human right, being first in the industry to publish a transparency report while building new user-oriented cryptotechnology for the future.
The requests have been grouped in 3 major categories:
DMCA – Digital Millenium Copyright Act complaints are usually received from various law firms representing Paramount, Sony Pictures or similar companies. These complaints usually indicate that a copyrighted material was illegally shared via a CyberGhost IP, providing details about the torrent, the date on which it was shared, the uploaders IP and the used port.
Malware Activity – Complaints are received from various parts, users receiving spams or detecting attacks from CyberGhost IPs, website owners or application developers complaining about DDoS, Botnets, Scams, log-in attempts, automated emails received from websites detecting a black listed IP address or an IP that is used for spam campaigns. CyberGhost also receives forwarded complaints from various data centers we collaborate with.
Police requests are received from various law enforcements agencies or police departments requesting logs for an IP linked to their investigation/case. These requests are usually received by the data centers and forwarded to CyberGhost.
The transparency report aims to highlight insights of various requests to disclose the identity of CyberGhost’s users. The requests received by law enforcement agencies, police offices, and websites owners or individuals and law firms around the world have been grouped in three categories: DMCA complaints, police requests and malware activity complaints.
Compared to the previous year, the number of requests has decreased with an average of -21% over the past 12 months. CyberGhost received an average of 1,318 requests per month (Even though the number of users has increased with 60% from January to December 2015). The measures taken against behaviors triggering the complaints and requests are detailed in the paper. The number of DMCA complaints must also be linked to the increased activity of numerous production and distribution firms and copyright holders.
The increased number of users, from 3.5 million to 7.5 million has not influenced the number of police requests, on the contrary. 71 requests on disclosing user data have been counted with a monthly average of 6 demands between January 2015 and December 2015. Although the user base has seen a development of 60%, the number of received police requests has declined to -24%.
On a global scale, the reported malicious activities in CyberGhost’s network have increased significantly with 310% from an average of 99 per month in 2014 to 407 per month in 2015.
For the same period of time, substantial increases of malicious activities have been also reported by various security companies such as Kaspersky Lab, Trend Micro, Cisco and Symantec.
United States Highlights
New regulations with regards to censorship and mass surveillance are also a reason for the increased numbers of users and malicious activities. CyberGhost has observed a decline of the number of DMCA’s, 59% less requests, and also 17% less police demands. As per the global development of the malware landscape, malicious activities on the U.S. servers have also risen with a substantial of 243%.
International media, more than ever, brought into the attention of its readers the implications of such provisions, reported on NSA's activities and also highlighted the importance of privacy.
All these actions can be linked to an increase of CyberGhost's U.S. more privacy aware users, as highlighted in the graphics below, reaching a growth of 60% between June and August 2015.
The numbers for the German servers can be easily compared to the global ones. Malicious activities have increased by 115% while DMCA demands have been 27% fewer and the police requests have decreased with 4%.
In May 2015 WikiLeaks released ten months of transcripts from the ongoing German Parliamentary inquiry into NSA activities in Germany1, provoking massive dismay and consternation. Following this incident, Reporters Without Borders Germany (RSF Germany) took Germany’s foreign intelligence agency Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) to court. Confidential sources and whistleblowers are considered critical to the free journalistic investigations, research and reports.
The international media exposure from June 2015 has also contributed to a higher awareness of confidentiality concerns and the right for individual privacy. It can also be linked to the increase of 60% of the German users in 2015.
Read more about censorship and its impact on VPN usage, the influence of wealth on privacy in various regions of the world, encryption as a digital weapon in the 21st century and other relevant information about privacy.