In China, the government imposes a great deal of restrictions as regards the content that can be accessed by the people. In order to counter this problem, many of the users of the internet have opted for VPN service providers. However, even other VPN services are unable to escape government surveillance because of the weak encryption being used by them.
Popular providers of VPN connection in China may benefit a lot if they learn and adopt the encryption methods employed by Bitcoin. At the core, the working of the VPN encryption and that of the Bitcoin is the same.
Some VPN Providers in China Use Weak Encryption
The main reason as to why people go for a VPN connection is to ensure that their activities on the internet are not being tracked by the prying eyes of the government. This is because VPN services encrypt all of the data transmitted over the World Wide Web. Moreover, governments cannot block people from accessing Internet pages when using VPN services.
However, it turns out that some of the VPN services in China are not employing proper encryption techniques. As a result, government officials are in a position to access user data of those using such services. The way in which popular commercial VPN services in China are using the weak encryptions is further aggravating the situation. In fact, it is turning out to be a matter of great concern for the Chinese.
Some popular VPN services in China are making use of 1024-bit RSA key for the purpose of encrypting all connections. People who are not tech savvy may think that this is the right security measure, but the fact is that it is very easy to bypass this type of encryption, at least as far as the government in China is concerned.
In fact, some of these VPN services are making themselves vulnerable to snoops by government officials whenever they collect data because of the less-than-optimal encryption employed by them. There may not be any documented evidence to prove this to be true, but it doesn’t surprise anyone if the government officials in China are accessing the data that is being collected by them.
Security Measures Employed by Bitcoin
The working of the encryption is more or less the same in the case of VPN and Bitcoin. The RSA key employed in the case of VPN connections operates like a lock. However, instead of just using a key, a hidden layer requiring a signature is also employed. Actually, the real encryption of data is achieved through the signature.
In the case of Bitcoin, this signature is referred to as a private key. This ensures that only the Bitcoin address owner is able to transfer funds. The RSA keys operate in the same manner, but the employment of the weak 1024-bit encryption makes it easy for anyone with sufficient dedicated computational power to crack the code. On the other hand, Bitcoin employs stronger encryption and makes it impossible for anyone to snoop on transactions and balances of people.
In addition to the private key, Bitcoin employs a public key. Bitcoin data or wallet can be accessed only by combining both the keys. Hackers and government officials will be able to guess the private key by deriving factors from the public key. Therefore, strong encryption is essential to prevent this, calling for the use of 2048-bit RSA key as the minimum requirement. In fact, Bitcoin has shifted to ECDSA from RSA encryption many years ago.
All said and done, companies can learn quite a few things from the ecosystem of Bitcoin, especially the encryption aspect. VPN services can think in terms of switching to ECDSA from RSA in order to prevent snooping by government officials. Bitcoin is way ahead of companies and traditional technology services as far as security and encryption are concerned.
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