The VPN industry is one of the biggest new industries to transform the world. Back in 2013, when Snowden released information, the general public realized perhaps for the first time how easy it is for internet security to be breached.
Now, in 2018, people are using VPNs all the time, but in a lot of cases, the histories of VPNs we use and who made them are often overlooked. However, I think it’s important to consider the implications of a company’s history, since it can give insight into possible future outcomes of data. If you found out that famous tech company Apple use to be a malware company, would you still buy their phones?
Today I want to discuss how Cyberghost VPN’s parent company — Crossrider, is a malware company. I want to discuss this because for the most part, it seems like no one gives a shit. But I think shit needs to be given, and this is a big deal. If you’re using Cyberghost VPN, and you’re happy with it, it might be time to reconsider.
#1 Cyberghost’s Parent Company is Crossrider
Cyberghost has publicly admitted in a blog post that they were bought out by the Crossrider company. It’s funny though, since even the CEO of the company admits in the blog post that the companys are a bit opposing in terms of what they focus on.
“ While CyberGhost focused on privacy and security from day one, Crossrider started out as a company that distributed browser extensions and developed ad tech products. Quite the opposite of what we did.”
The blog post rationalizes that Crossrider realized they weren’t making enough money and that the company had to “pivot”. But I don’t buy that.
VPN companies are suppose to value security, privacy, and anonymity, whereas Ad companies value data, real time tracking, and other aggressive tools to make as much money as possible. The partnership makes no sense. It would be like if a hospital teamed up with a cigarette company and let people smoke inside.
While the blog post tries to spin the story in as positive light as possible, its easy to see what people think of the partnership in the comments. Suffice to say, at the time of the partnership, people weren’t fooled.
“wtf! wtf! i was shocked. is this joke? is this april fool? what did you do Robert. I want to cry. R.I.P. CYBERGHOST”
But strangely enough, there’s only a handful of comments, and I would wager that most active Cyberghost VPN users have no clue who Crossrider is, and why it matters that they effectively control Cyberghost.
#2 Crossrider Creates Devious Malware
So who is Crossrider exactly? Well it’s a “tech” company that basically puts adware on your computer, forcing your computer to re-route to certain pages so the company makes ad revenue.
They’ve made several apps in order to make “ad” revenue.
The company designs tools for Mac, like Advanced Mac Cleaner, which gets installed if a user accidentally tries to install the wrong version of Adobe Flash. You can find a ton of information about the problem here on Malwarebyte’s blog post that details how to remove the malware/adware.
But the company also designs tools like “DriverAgent” which is supposedly designed to help PC users update and install drivers. However, it’s easy to find that Reddit users hate the app and that they find it’s simply not safe to use. Malwaretips, a website and blog designed to help users remove malware, says that DriverAgent is an actual virus, and they show how to remove it in their blog post.
Other tools designed by the same company like “ReImage” are labled as a “complete scam” on the pissedconsumer website. It has a score of 1.6/5 with 81 reviews, with over $1.1M claimed losses, with only 4 resolved issues.
#3 Crossrider Rebrands to Confuse the Market and Consumers
Crossrider is a horrible company that makes products to trick computer noobs. So doesn’t seem like the best company to own Cyberghost right? Well, CrossRider knows this, and they know they are guilty of some bad business practices. So that’s why they’ve “re-branded” to “Kape”.
An article detailing the re-branding explains some of the history behind the Crossrider company.
“ In October 2016, after Erlichman became CEO, the company went through a restructuring to return to growth. Crossrider also developed further the Reimage solution as well as acquiring DriverAgent, which had developed a device driver search and update service. The most recent acquisition was in March 2017 when the company bought Cyberghost, which develops VPN cybersecurity solutions.”
According to the previously mentioned article, “Kape’s current work plan is to continue and drive organic growth as well as execute on targeted acquisitions. The decision to rename the company, explains Erlichman was due to the strong association to the past activities of the company.”
My favorite part is that this little sentence in bold, shows that CEO of “Kape” acknowledges that the reason they are re-branding is because everyone knows Crossrider is a malware company that tricks consumers into giving up data.
Conclusion- CyberGhost VPN is Owned by a Malware Company?
Kape is desperately trying to rebrand as NOT a malware company. But, the fact remains they still operate Reimage, DriverAgent which are both flagged as malware and serve no real purpose.
So, CyberGhost is owned and operated by a malware company that has made every dollar from deception and taking advantage of people who don’t know any better.
Suuuuure, now let’s trust you with web traffic. Robert Knapp should be ashamed for compromising the privacy of every single one of his users. (although they have a history of doing so even before acquisition).