Tip top VPN provider IPVanish is warning visitors to the Sochi Winter Olympics that they face a raft of hazards if they venture online while they are in Russia. The bottom line, according to the company, is that anyone who knows the risks but logs on to the internet in Sochi without using a VPN service is plain daft.
In case you think that IPVanish is merely trying to drum up subscriptions to its VPN services, the warnings of the dangers of hacking at Sochi only echo what the U.S. State Department said in a recent advisory for travelers to Russia. The State Department is basically telling visitors to Russia they must expect to have their online privacy violated there.
Furthermore, a recent NBC TV report showed exactly how bad hacking in Sochi is likely to be. NBC’s reporter, Dick Engel, spoke to Kylie Wilhoit from Trend Micro about the problems. Wilhoit first set up various devices – an Apple Mac, a Windows 7 PC, and a smart phone running the Android operating system – with fake email, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. When Engel logged on to these accounts in Sochi using the test devices, he was hit for six within minutes by hack attacks. All the test devices suffered intrusions from a variety of IP addresses – all of them in Russia.
This illustrates immediately the perils of browsing the web in Sochi and elsewhere in Russia if you have no VPN protection.