Consumer Reports: Router security risk

Posted at 8:05 AM, Jul 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-09 10:47:01-04

You might have heard about the malware, believed to be Russia-linked, that is targeting WiFi routers around the world.

The Federal Bureau Investigations is urging people to take immediate action by re-setting their routers. The malware has infected more than
half-a-million routers, in at least 54 countries and the threat is potentially growing.

It`s called VPN-Filter and even security experts cannot be sure who is vulnerable.

CR says that one thing is certain, router security is more important than ever, because all the information from your computer, your devices, flows right thru it.
That means your Facebook messages, your banking information, your credit card information.

All goes thru your router. So if there`s a breach, that`s really bad.

To fix the problem, the security team at Consumer Reports agrees with the Feds — start by resetting your router. Unplug it, wait 20 seconds or so — and start it up again. But Consumer Reports says don`t stop there.

It`s also smart to reset your router`s administrative password — the password you
use to log in to the router itself. Make it something strong. Also, go into the router`s settings and turn off the remote access feature.

And then, update your firmware. Unlike a laptop or a smartphone, most older routers don`t notify you if there`s an update available. So it`s really up to you to
check, every three or four months, whether there`s an update available on your manufacturer`s website.

Too much of a hassle? Replace your old router with a new one that updates automatically. Routers from Netgear, Eero, Google, and Linksys all offer an option
to take care of updates for you.

A router with the latest updates is less vulnerable to malware.