Peter Membrey is the Chief Engineer (VPN Tech) at ExpressVPN and has been with the company since 2016. He is the creator of Lightway , a state of the art Open Source VPN protocol that protects millions of users every day with a focus on security and privacy. He was also one of the core creators of TrustedServer, the VPN industry’s first true RAM only server.
Peter is also a Chartered Fellow of the British Computer Society, a Chartered IT Professional and a Chartered Engineer. He has a doctorate in engineering and a masters degree specializing in Information Security. He has co-authored over a dozen technical books and a number of research papers on a variety of topics. He is also an IEEE Computer Society Distinguished Contributor, has written for the IT Professionals New Zealand Blog and has appeared on national TV in New Zealand to offer insights into cyber security.
Although he works in industry, he remains very interested in academia and is actively looking for opportunities to conduct research and work with academics and students in the privacy field. His primary focus at the moment is Internet Privacy and the technologies that make that possible. His role is primary R&D and hopes to publish papers in peer reviewed journals in the near future. He is also looking at founding a VPN industry centric conference.
Apart from this, he is also interested in time synchronization, particularly dealing with variable latency networks.
Lightway is ExpressVPN’s state of the art mobile first VPN protocol. Designed for simplicity in a modern connected world, it now helps to provide Internet privacy for millions of people around the world. In this talk I cover what protocols the VPN industry has used, the rise of Wireguard with the privacy issues it raises, and a discussion on the design and focus points for Lightway itself.
Creating Trusted Server
Operating a consumer VPN platform for millions of users where not only performance but security and privacy are vital components can be extremely challenging. With thousands of servers, keeping them all updated, with known and verified software is essential but deployment tools such as Ansible don’t scale well for this task, and how do you handle the huge variety in data centers?
Trusted Server is a ram-only operating system that boots from a cryptographically signed ISO to ensure that each server is running exactly what it’s supposed to at all times. With an innovative approach to constantly refresh servers, Trusted Server led the charge for this next-gen approach to VPN platform management.