Routine Security Updates 5-14-2015

Our web server will be restarted to apply routine security updates. The expected downtime of the website is 30 seconds or less. The VPN network will be unaffected and remain up.

For updates about VikingVPN, check out VikingVPN on Twitter and VikingVPN on Google+!

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Speed Optimizations Deployed - the Fastest VPN Is Even Faster

We have deployed a number of improvements to the VPN service in order to further optimize speeds on our network. These changes were tested thoroughly on all supported platforms and we believe there to be no cases where performance or stability will get worse.

The changes are both client and server based. So in order to enjoy the full benefit of the changes, you'll need to get a new set of OpenVPN configuration files from our website. For customers that means signing in to the website and going to the "Profile" tab, and then selecting the option to download new config files.

The install process is the same, and the changes are backwards compatible with older clients and older config files. This update has been tested on Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, Windows XP, Android 4.0 and up, iOS6 and up, Ubuntu, Debian, Arch, OSX, DD-WRT and Tomato

There are no changes to the security infrastructure or settings in place with these changes.

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VikingVPN is Changing Web Hosts

We are planning to change our website to a new web host due to an unacceptable number of outages with our current host. We will be moving to one of our known to be reliable hosts that we use for the VPN network. Downtime will be between 15 and 60 minutes on Saturday for the website only.

The VPN network will remain active and functional throughout this transition, and no slowdowns or outages are expected.

EDIT: Web hosting migration was completed on 4/18 with nearly no downtime for the website.  VPN Services were unaffected.

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Darkcoin to Dash Transition Under Way

The Darkcoin (currency ticker: DRK) project has renamed and re-branded their service to the name Dash (currency ticker: DASH).

The transition, which occurred yesterday, features new websites and a new wallet to reflect the changes.

The project is being run by the same team, and the same source code is powering the project. This is simply a marketing change to create greater differentiation between Darkcoin and other "altcoin" projects.

VikingVPN is remaining committed to the project, as the technology behind the wallet is fantastic, and the project remains open-source. As a VPN provider with a focus on security and privacy, Darkcoin (Dash) is our most private method of payment.

We will be transitioning our site graphics and informational pages to reflect the rename from Darkcoin to Dash over the next few days. Support and policies will remain unchanged with regard to the cryptocurrency.

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Investigating Outage - New York City Server Cluster

We are currently investigating an outage of the NYC server cluster. We are currently redirecting all NYC users to the Chicago cluster in order to keep services running for all users.

When we find the nature of the issue, we will report it here. We will also follow-up when the cluster is back online.

Edit: Service to NYC has been restored. The outage was caused by a problem at the datacenter unrelated to the VikingVPN server cluster.

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OpenSSL Upgrades FREAK Vulnerability to High Severity

The OpenSSL team upgraded FREAK to "high" severity today, due to the impact of the bug being far more widespread than initially thought. FREAK did impact OpenVPN, but did not impact VikingVPN because of our security topology.

First and foremost, FREAK requires two specific conditions in order to be exploitable. It requires a man-in-the-middle and it attacks OpenSSL autonegotiation. An attacker must be able to place themselves in the middle of the session, and then send fake data to the server to downgrade the encryption on their connection to the easily crackable Export RSA. The impact is huge as it breaks the encryption without notifying the client or the server that anything is wrong.

VikingVPN has a very tight security model specifically to protect users from these kinds of attacks. Firstly, we do not allow any negotiation on cipher to take place at all. We only use one cipher suite, the one that we believe is the strongest in the open-source OpenVPN client. The lack of autonegotiation already makes the FREAK attack impossible, but we also use the HMAC firewall to block man-in-the-middle attacks.

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Web Server Restart -- Routine Security Updates

We will be restarting the website and the associated infrastructure in order to apply routine security updates. Downtime is expected to be less than 1 minute. If you experience any issues with the website after this routine update (we are not expecting any), let us know via customer care.

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VikingVPN Now Supports the Darkcoin Cryptocurrency

In our commitment to privacy and security, we have added support for the Darkcoin cryptocurrency. Our focus at VikingVPN is to provide the fastest and most secure service possible, and payment methods are one of the biggest challenges with a fully private model.

We added Bitcoin support a few months ago in an effort to give our customers more options for private payment. While Bitcoin is substantially safer than using your debit card directly for privacy, it is not perfect. There are ways to analyze the block chain, find the source of the transaction (usually an exchange) and then go after the exchange for user information regarding the transaction. There are also ways to associate IP addresses with wallets.

The Darkcoin project addresses both of these issues head-on by using the Tor network to anonymize IP addresses for transactions, and by automated wallet mixing systems that are similar to the

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VikingVPN Is Adding Darkcoin DRK Support

VikingVPN is adding support to accept the Darkcoin digital cyptocurrency in the near future. We will be implementing Darkcoin in the same fashion as our current Bitcoin system.

We are adding DRK support as a commitment to keeping our customers as private as possible.

The Darkcoin project has significant improvements over the Bitcoin system for privacy in that:

1. All of the source code is available to be audited by the public.

2. The source code has been professionally audited.

3. The project has many privacy improvements over Bitcoin, making transactions much harder to trace and track.

You can see more information about Darkcoins and get a DRK wallet here:

We will soon be able to say:

We plan to write a stub article on the history of Darkcoin and the privacy concerns that it addresses. I will update this article with a link to the Darkcoin article when it is completed.

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Connection Guide Updates

We are currently working on updating our connection guides to reflect the most current versions of software for both download links and screenshots. This overhaul will make sure that our users have the easiest methods to set up their VikingVPN service securely.

We are also working on updating our YouTube video guides for getting connected. As of this writing, all of the connection guides are current except for the Tunnelblick video. The methodology has changed for installation and a number of steps have been done away with to make the whole set up process easier.

You may notice a number of small changes to the site with regard to graphics and guides in the next few days, and we will be updating the Tunnelblick guide on YouTube as soon as is possible. The changes have already been made on the regular Tunnelblick guide on the site, the Video is the only guide that is dated.

If you have any questions regarding getting set up with VikingVPN, feel free to email us at customer care!

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