No! It isn’t safe and has never been safe.
Hola is harmful to the internet as a whole, and to its users in particular. You might know it as a free VPN or “unblocker”, but in reality it operates like a poorly secured botnet – with serious consequences.
WikiPedia – A botnet is a number of Internet-connected computers communicating with other similar machines in which components located on networked computers communicate and coordinate their actions by command and control (C&C) or by passing messages to one another (C&C might be built into the botnet as P2P). Botnets have been used many times to send spam email or participate in distributed denial-of-service attacks. The word botnet is a combination of the words robot and network. The term is usually used with a negative or malicious connotation.
If you’re using Hola, a free virtual private network (VPN) that lets you stream things like Netflix abroad, you need to stop immediately. The company behind Hola is turning your computer into a node on a botnet, and selling your network to anyone who is willing to pay.
Security researchers discovered multiple security flaws in Hola and published their findings on a site called “Adios Hola.”
“Hola is harmful to the internet as a whole, and to its users in particular,” researchers wrote.
Hola is going even further, by selling access to the network through a site called Luminati from $1.45 to $20 per GB. On Adios Hola, researchers published chat logs between them and the company explaining that they don’t enforce rules that say people shouldn’t be engaging in illegal activity because the company has “no idea what you are doing on our platform.”
Additionally, Hola can let someone take over programs on your computer. The researchers explain:
And on some systems, it gets worse; Hola will happily run whatever you feed it as the ‘SYSTEM’ user. What this means in simple terms, is that somebody can completely compromise your system, beyond any repair. It allows for installing things like a rootkit, for example.
This problem is not just an ‘oversight’. It’s not a thing where you say ‘well, bugs can happen’. This kind of security issue can only happen if a developer is either grossly incompetent, or simply doesn’t care about the security of their users. It’s negligence, plain and simple, and there’s no excuse for it.
If you haven’t already, uninstall Hola right now, I just uninstalled mine. And if you’re not sure whether or not you’re vulnerable thanks to Hola, you can visit the site to find out.