WebRTC is a modern browser-based technology that provides support for real-time communication to improve chat and rich-media communication between users. The problem of this protocol, from a privacy point of view, is that some flaws can expose sensitive data of users such as the real IP addresses, even if they are connected to a VPN.
The news about this WebRTC IP leaking flaw has already gone mainstream:
- Huge Security Flaw Leaks VPN Users’ Real IP-Addresses (Torrent Freak)
- Massive security flaw involving WebRTC reveals VPN users real IP addresses (TechWorm)
- WebRTC Vulnerability leaks Real IP Addresses of VPN Users (The Hacker News)
If you use a browser that supports WebRTC, such as Chrome/Chromium based browser or Firefox, you should fix this if you don’t want to expose your real IP online when using a VPN.
How to test if your browsers leaks your IP through WebRTC?
Check for WebRTC leaks on any reputable leak test site: whoer.net, ipx.ac, ipleak.net, browserleaks.com/webrtc
How to fix the WebRTC IP Leaks?
On Firefox, WebRTC can be disabled completely. To disable it, open about:config, search for media.peerconnection.enabled. Double click on it to set it to False.
On Chrome (desktop) and other Chromium based browsers, install the WebRTC Limiter extension.
Some Chromium based browsers support the ability to block/disable WebRTC natively without relying on extensions:
- Vivaldi Browser: Tools > Settings > Privacy > disable “Broadcast IP for best WebRTC Performance”.
Once disabled/blocked, run the WebRTC leak tests again to make sure that it is fixed.