Can A Virtual Private Network (VPN) Be Hacked?

With cybersecurity being one of the main concerns for people in today’s world, every potential way of protecting ourselves from cybercrimes and hackers becomes a subject of a very heated discussion. So has a VPN – it stands for a Virtual Private Network and it has been the talk of the town for some time now. A lot of people, specialists and professionals, recommend installing one on all your devices that connect with the internet, there are websites like where you can find the best VPN offers, and even if you’re not using it yet, you probably hear all about it from people around you. Is it really as safe as they claim it to be? Or can a VPN be hacked too?

But First, How Does A VPN Work? 

To understand all potential threats, you need to know what a VPN does to make all those people feel so safe. First of all, it makes your computer encrypt all the data that you’re sending while using the internet so that it’s unreadable to anyone who can be spying on your connection. Very often hackers use public Wi-Fi to catch people off guard – VPN is able to protect you from these kinds of attacks. It makes you invisible also to your internet service provider so it can help you hide from a strict government. Even if a hacker breaks into a VPN database, he might not find anything as many VPNs don’t store your data anywhere. That’s why so many people are convinced that VPNs are unhackable. 


Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. While it’s not that simple to breach a VPN, it’s not entirely impossible, especially for a determined and skilled hacker. 

Which Hacking Techniques May Be Effective In Hacking VPNs And How Can You Protect Yourself?

1. Bait and Switch

Ads are popping up all the time when you go online so you probably don’t give them too much thought. But there are ads less innocent than others – some may lead to malicious websites that will install online trackers and malware on your device. Most VPNs can deal with this kind of intrusion so it’s important to use the ones that include any type of ad-blocker. 

2. Credential Reuse

Hackers can breach a database which often stores users information, including usernames and passwords. Unfortunately, many people, even these days, still use the same password for different websites and accounts and that’s what hackers can use to access your email account, social media or even a bank account. VPN can’t help you with that. It’s you who needs to make sure to use a good, reliable password manager that will create strong passwords for your accounts. Good news – some VPNs offer these services as well.

3. Clickjacking

A hacker is able to create additional layers over other websites that you visit adding invisible buttons that you don’t see and unwittingly click on. It’s often done for likes buttons on social media and enabling user’s camera or microphone. VPNs, in general, can protect you from clickjacking, but not all of them. It’s best to choose a VPN with ad-blocker and anti-malware tools as they come with a database of compromised websites.

4. IoT Malicious Attacks

More and more people decide to make their homes smart without realizing that, when they do it carelessly, it may put them at risk. Most household devices that connect with the internet, like speakers, sound systems or lighting, don’t have any security systems. That’s why it’s so important to choose the most secure router. VPN can’t help you if you install it on your computer, but it may be helpful if you choose a VPN installed directly on your router. However, not all of them can work on routers.

5. DDoS Attacks

This hacking technique is not used to steal your data, but to install a bot into your device. It automatically makes it a part of a larger network and then it sends malicious requests across the web. Bots can make your device much slower, as they devour your system resources, they can slow your internet connection and they are extremely hard to find and remove. When it comes to VPNs, not all of them can protect you from this threat. Those that have a feature that protects your device from botnet commands can isolate bots, but you will still need an antivirus to get rid of it.


VPNs don’t store any connection information so the best chance for hackers is to become the Man in The Middle. They can observe the data as it’s flowing; it’s not easy to attack it, but it’s not impossible. Of course, the encrypted data will remain unreadable, but they will be able to read everything that’s plaintext.

VPNs are a huge help when it comes to maintaining privacy and security online, but they can’t do everything for you. You still have to be cautious and attentive. It’s best to be aware of different types of potential threats and browse the web reasonably. That’s why it’s smart to get your VPN some backup – a good, reliable antivirus and your own good sense.