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Hola CEO: Spammer created botnet

by Jacob Kleinman | June 1, 2015June 1, 2015 12:40 pm PST


Last week we learned that the free VPN service Hola had apparently sold its users off as a botnet army for hire. The company’s CEO, Ofer Vilenski, recently responded with a blog post explaining what happened, and he’s promising the company won’t make the same mistake again.

Vilenski said  his firm was tricked by a spammer posing as a legitimate company, who paid for its Luminati service and used it to carry out an online attack, creating the “botnet.”

“Last week a spammer used Luminati by posing as a corporation,” Vilenski said. “He passed through our filters and was able to take advantage of our network. We analyzed the incident, and built the necessary measures in our processes to ensure that such incidents do not occur, and deactivated his service. We will cooperate with any investigation of the incident to ensure that he will be punished to the fullest extent.”

Something similar actually happened back in 2011 when a hacker apparently used Amazon’s servers to breach the PlayStation Network and steal user information. Vilenski says Hola is beefing up its security team as a result of the spammer, and will hire a chief security officer to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

“Hola was built for you, the user,” Hola CEO Ofer Vilenski said. “We want to do what’s right for our community. We will continue to serve you. We have experienced the growing pains of our large network now, and are implementing these lessons.”

Hit the source to read Vilenski’s full explanation.


Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...