Avast SecureLine VPN: Resolving IP leak related to WebRTC

Issue

WebRTC is a feature that supports B2B applications such as voice calling, video chat, and P2P file sharing without any need for plugins. There is an issue with WebRTC affecting Windows, Mac OS X and Android systems that allows the IP address to be discovered in browsers which apply WebRTC (such as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox). A website could potentially exploit WebRTC, making your actual IP address visible even when connected to a VPN such as Avast SecureLine.

We are actively looking for a solution to fix this issue. However, you can still protect your privacy in the meantime by blocking or disabling WebRTC. Or, avoid the vulnerability by using a browser which does not apply WebRTC (such as Safari or Internet Explorer).

Please note that when WebRTC is disabled some peer connections may not be possible. For example, a video chat or file sharing application which depends on WebRTC functionality.

Solution

The procedure to disable WebRTC varies:

Microsoft Windows

Microsoft Internet Explorer does not currently enable WebRTC by default, so no action is required for this browser unless you have manually enabled WebRTC.

Add-on method

In Mozilla Firefox there are free 3rd party extensions available that allow you to disable/enable WebRTC.

You can install extensions from Mozilla Add-ons:


As a more extreme measure, you can install an extension which blocks all scripts. This increases privacy but may significantly decrease browser functionality, as many websites rely on scripts to load properly.


Manual method

Alternatively you can manually block WebRTC in Firefox settings:

  1. Type about:config in the address bar and press Enter.
  2. Accept the warning by clicking the blue button I'll be careful, I promise!
  3. Scroll to media.peerconnection.enabled in the list of settings. Double-click this entry (or right-click the entry and choose Toggle). Its value will change to false, meaning the feature is disabled.

In Google Chrome for Windows there are free 3rd party extensions available that block or disable WebRTC.

You can install extensions from the Chrome Store:


As a more extreme measure, you can install an extension which blocks all scripts. This increases privacy but may significantly decrease browser functionality, as many websites rely on scripts to load properly.

Mac OS X

Safari does not currently enable WebRTC by default, so no action is required for this browser unless you have manually enabled WebRTC.

Add-on method

In Mozilla Firefox there are free 3rd party extensions available that allow you to disable/enable WebRTC.

You can install extensions from Mozilla Add-ons:


As a more extreme measure, you can install an extension which blocks all scripts. This increases privacy but may significantly decrease browser functionality, as many websites rely on scripts to load properly.


Manual method

Alternatively you can manually block WebRTC in Firefox settings:

  1. Type about:config in the address bar and press Enter.
  2. Accept the warning by clicking the blue button I'll be careful, I promise!
  3. Scroll to media.peerconnection.enabled in the list of settings. Double-click this entry (or right-click the entry and choose Toggle). Its value will change to false, meaning the feature is disabled.

In Google Chrome Mac OS X there are free 3rd party extensions available that block or disable WebRTC.

You can install extensions from the Chrome Store:

As a more extreme measure, you can install an extension which blocks all scripts. This increases privacy but may significantly decrease browser functionality, as many websites rely on scripts to load properly.

Android

In Google Chrome for Android, you can manually block WebRTC using a Chrome Flag (experimental setting):

  1. Type chrome://flags/#disable-webrtc in the address bar and press Enter.
  2. Press Enable. This in fact disables the WebRTC feature.
  3. Reboot your phone.

Please be aware that Chrome Flags are subject to change or disappear at any time.

  • Avast SecureLine VPN

  • Microsoft Windows 10 Home / Pro / Enterprise / Education
  • Microsoft Windows 8.1 / Pro /Enterprise
  • Microsoft Windows 8 / Pro / Enterprise
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Home Basic / Home Premium / Professional / Enterprise / Ultimate
  • Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic / Home Premium / Business / Enterprise / Ultimate
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home / Professional / Media Center Edition)

  • Apple Mac OS X 10.10.x (Yosemite, Intel-based)
  • Apple Mac OS X 10.9.x (Mavericks, Intel-based)

  • Android 5.x
  • Android 4.x

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