Can my wi-fi router be compromised?
Wi-Fi routers pose an easy target for most hackers. A router’s firmware will pose a risk if left running without an update. Most households will keep their Wi-Fi router running day in and day out, without being checked for the latest patches or bug fixes.
Over time, Wi-Fi routers’ vulnerabilities are amplified. Most firmware is built with open source code, which is a cost-effective way to allow for customization, but is also seen as more susceptible to cyber attacks.
Is this even a serious threat?
Yes. In a study done by the American Consumer Institute (ACI), it was found that in a range of 186 Wi-Fi routers, from a slew of popular providers, 155 were found to be based on open source code. This means that 83% of those routers have a higher probability of being exposed to attacks.
Earlier this year there were thousands of Wi-Fi routers infiltrated by Russian hackers, reported by NBC. Barreling through little protection, a semi-experienced hacker could easily move past password barriers such as: 1234 and other simple passwords. Once they have access to your router, they can sift through private data, spy on web interactions, or even gain access to your financial institutions.
How to protect yourself:
- Update your Router’s firmware
- Search online for vulnerabilities on your device
- Turn off Remote Administration
While the “Remote Admin” tool is helpful for when you need tech help from afar, it leaves a loophole that could be used by hackers.