HACKING – ROUTERS THE LATEST TARGET

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HACKING – ROUTERS THE LATEST TARGET

With the world ready to embrace the General Data Protection Regulation, GDPR, tomorrow, a disturbing news of hack of 500,000 routers has brought cyber security again to the centre stage. The bland offerings of Mark Zuckerberg has been no consolation. The state actors have already taken up to cyber weapons in a big way. The world wide hacks starting with WannaCry goes unabated inclusive of Intel chips.

”Home routers have become rats to hackers’ bubonic plague, says the Wired magazine. These are easily infected, generally untreated & ubiquitous, making attacks spread easy. Cisco’s Talos security division warned that VPNFilter, a new breed malware, has infected over half a million routers in 54 countries. It has hit home & small business routers. It includes the routers sold by Netgear, TP-Link, Linksys, MicroTik & QNAP network storage devices.

Security researchers say that a group of sophisticated hackers have amassed a collection of malware infected routers, which can spread havoc across the internet or be triggered to implode networks across the globe. The versatile code makes it multipurpose spy tool, creates a network of routers to carry out malicious activities & can immediately corrupt the firmware of the entire collection of hacked routers.

It is the next Cyber Security crisis in the making. Russian hackers are on the prowl. The malware uses the code used in earlier Russian cyber attacks. With large number of Ukrainian routers infected, it might mean a major cyber offensive against Ukraine. Starting with Stuxnet in 2008 used against Iran, Cyber Weapons have come to stay, the star performers being North Korea, China, Russia, Israel & the US. Router security measures are; upgrading firmware regularly, changing default passwords, turning off remote administration, checking DNS settings & turning off guest network.

HALF BAKED APPROACH CANNOT FORESTALL CONCERTED ATTACKS.

Sanjay Sahay

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