Router vulnerabilities and weak passwords allow cybercrooks easy access to your home network.
That little router box provided by your ISP or that you bought at Radio Shack and forgot about, is a weak link in your Internet-connected household. Many homes in the United States use a wireless router to connect multiple devices, but unsecured routers can create an easy access point for hackers.
Think for a second – do you know what your wifi router password is? Did you know that your wireless router even has a password? If you are not sure, you are not alone.
What do you have to lose?
Only everything on your computer! That includes banking or financial information, personal information, browsing history, and photos.
Why is this an issue now?
”Today’s router security situation is very reminiscent of PCs in the 1990s, with lax attitudes towards security combined with new vulnerabilities being discovered every day creating an easily exploitable environment, ” said Vince Steckler, chief executive officer of Avast. “The main difference is people have much more personal information stored on their devices today than they did back then.”
We did a study of this issue and found that 4 out of 5 Internet-connected households in the U.S. are at risk of getting attacked through their wireless router. And 16 out of 100 surveyed said they have already been victimized by hackers.
The problem – PASSWORDS.
Avast found that more than half of all routers are poorly protected by default or easily-hacked password combinations. When you check yours, this could be what you find:
The 25% of consumers we surveyed that are using a “unique” password use their address, name, phone number, street name, or other easily-guessed terms as their passwords. Not too much better…
What is the risk?
One of the biggest risks on any wifi network is DNS hijacking. This happens when malware gets in your unprotected router and sneakily redirects you from a known site, such as your bank’s website, to a fake site that looks just like the real thing. When you log in, cyberthieves capture your login credentials and then use them to access the real site. Scary stuff.
Avast 2015 reacts to home network vulnerabilities
To address these issues, Avast recently introduced Avast 2015, which includes the world’s first Home Network Security Solution that protects users from home network threats including DNS hijacking and weak passwords.
Open the Avast user interface, click Scan from the menu on the left, then choose Scan for network threats. Avast will take a look at your router and report back any issues. In most cases, if there is an issue to be addressed, then it will direct you to your router manufacturer’s website.
The Home Network Security Solution is available in free and paid versions of Avast. Get it at www.avast.com.
Yesterday, several companies had their websites hijacked by pro-Palestinian hackers. We can confirm that there was also a hacker attempt against the AVAST site – we assume from the same group – but we took immediate steps and therefore were able to contain it.
According to published reports, the hacked companies’ accounts, used to manage their DNS records at their vendor, Network Solutions, have been reset. This allowed the hackers to take control of the websites in question. It’s unlikely that any of the sites that were attacked lost control of any of their own servers, so customer data most likely was not compromised.
“We ourselves received a notification from Network Solutions saying our email had been changed. We knew we had not requested that so we immediately took action and changed our passwords, which protected us,” said Vincent Steckler, AVAST CEO
Stay cyber aware when company accounts get hacked
Hackers have been busy recently– Adobe announced on Thursday that it has been the target of a major security breach in which sensitive and personal data about millions of its customers have been put at risk.
If you get a notification from an online provider that your email address or a password was changed – no matter if it’s from your bank, an online shop, or any other online site – and you didn’t request these changes, you need to take steps to protect yourself by immediately changing your passwords for these sites.