Ottawa Valley SAGE

Providing a forum since 1998

Feb 17, 2007 - 2 minute read - Comments

Consumer broadband routers at risk

Lots of people use them, most don’t protect them. I just saw a story on a new (well recent) attack vector on those ubiquitous routers that we all use to connect to the internet. The full story is located on ZDnet and basically shows that some carefully crafted javascript and an improperly configured router can result in all kinds of nastiness.

The full implications are pretty staggering. Basically if the admin page is left at the manufacturers defaults, the router can be configured to use an attackers DNS server, effectively forcing you to go where they want you to. Think about that for a moment. If the DNS is hijacked, then requests to go to your bank, online shopping, direct bill payments, etc could be redirected invisibly to a mock site and your personal info could be collected. Better yet, after they get the info, the mock site could redirect you to the real site and you may not even notice it happened.

The lazy attitude of skipping over reconfiguring the defaults, as you “can’t get at it from outside” are long over. If you use one or know someone  that uses one (WiFi router/access points), ask them if they have changed the defaults. A very simple precaution that could be of immense benefit in the long run.