US Senator pushes government to stop using old VPN tech and use WireGuard
VPNs have played a pivotal role in today’s age, allowing users to bypass geographical restrictions and keep their data relatively secure from prying eyes. While the use of a VPN is recommended against not using one at all when dealing with important information, some of the most popular VPNs have their own set of problems that make them a flawed choice despite their popularity.
Popular VPN solutions on Android such as OpenVPN and IPsec are extremely complex, making auditing these open source solutions difficult. OpenVPN also lives in userspace, making it quite slow, since every packet must be copied several times and incur several context switches. Here is a quick comparison of the complexity of popular VPN solutions in terms of the number of Lines of Code:
WireGuard VPN, however, is emerging as the more practical choice when it comes to VPN technology, offering ease-of-use, updated cryptography, and easier auditability. It also runs inside the Linux kernel and has received an endorsement from Linux kernel’s stable maintainer, Greg KH. The lead developer of WireGuard, Jason Donenfeld, also known as XDA Recognized Developer zx2c4, is also hoping to have WireGuard integrated into the mainline Linux kernel at the next available merge window. The WireGuard port for Android is also working on all Android devices, and the ports for macOS, FreeBSD, and OpenBSD are also in good shape. The Windows port is also making good progress.
WireGuard can now add another endorsement to its list. U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat from the state of Oregon, wrote an open letter to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) discouraging the use of aging technologies like OpenVPN and IPsec for government use.
“In light of the serious cybersecurity issues with the two most widely-used VPN technologies, I urge NIST to work with stakeholders to evaluate appropriate replacements, including Wireguard, for government use. I also ask that once NIST finds an appropriate replacement, existing VPN guidelines and support should quickly be discarded in favor of the newer alternative.”
If after the endorsement and recommendation to the government that WireGuard does get adopted, it would solidify WireGuard’s position as a much-needed alternative to the existing popular solutions.
If you are eager to test out WireGuard on your device, you can also visit the official thread for more information or check out its Google Play store listing if you have an Android 5.0+ device. Alternatively, you can also follow along community submitted guides on how to use WireGuard on your Android, macOS, and Ubuntu device.