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Will WIFI modem hold/distribute a virus?


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#1 MrBS

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 12:41 PM

Hi,

I have a query! My mate was using my wifi and he was downloading dodgy stuff (I know, I know!).

Whilst he was downloading, I turned my laptop on and it automatically installed updates before it got to the enter password screen which I thought was suspicious. After I logged in, I updated my Norton antivirus and it updated and then installed a patch. I performed a 'quick scan' and it told me nothing had been found.

I also noticed that when I started playing a game on my phone that usually has advertisements through it, the ad's weren't there and when they were expected to show (in this case at half time of a football game) the game froze. This only seems to happen when the phone is connected to the WIFI.

Is it possible that the WIFI router is harbouring a virus, and if so, how can I fix it? Also, has this virus infected my laptop and phone?

Thanks.



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#2 Kilroy

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 02:53 PM

More likely the site that serves the advertisements has been blocked.



#3 MrBS

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 03:37 PM

The app is now not working at all via wifi nor usual mobile coverage, but it is strange that this happened as soon as I got home.

I have installed and run avg on my mobile, which did not uncover anything.

I am performing a full norton scan on my laptop which has so far uncovered nothing. And I have reset the wifi box.

It just seems a bit circumstantial. I have tried researching if wifi boxes can harbour viruses and there seems to be yes and no responses!

#4 quietman7

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 07:13 PM

It is possible for certain types of malware (i.e. worms) to spread on a local LAN behind a router and for some types of malware to infect router firmware and change the router settings.

Routers can be compromised if they have a weak or default password which attackers can guess. Some routers have known vulnerabilities which can be exploited to open them up to attacks without needing to know the proper password. Malware which can modify routers are rare and may require the router to be a specific make, model and firmware revision. The most common was the DNSChanger Trojan which compromised the router's weak default password using brute-force attacks. The Trojan then changed the router's DNS table to malicious DNS servers...redirecting Domain Name resolutions to unsolicited, illegal and malicious sites the attacker wanted victims to access.

* "Millions" Of Home Routers Vulnerable To Web Hack
* Malware Silently Alters Wireless Router Settings
* Can a computer virus spread behind my firewall?

Securing a Router:
* How To Protect Your Router From Getting Hacked?
* How do I secure my router?
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#5 MrBS

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 07:19 AM

Thanks for the reply and thanks for the links.

 

From what I've read (and please forgive my ignorance), I'm thinking that the router can be used to spread a virus to other machines using wifi at that time? Does this mean that the router won't actually hold on to the virus while the machines are turned off? If this is the case, with regards to the router I don't need to clear the router of any virus's, but will changing the password mean that a virus can't access the router again?

 

With regards to my phone and laptop that were behaving strangely:

 

The phone seems to be working ok (the ads on the game I was playing are back), and an avg scan came back with nothing.

 

The Laptop came out clean on a Norton scan, but I am still unsure as to why it installed updates when it started up (not in the usual Windows way) and then Norton installed a patch when I updated it. I will run malwarebytes through it when I get home, can you recommend anything else I should run through it?

 

Thanks for any help, I really want to make sure that the Router is clean and that my phone and laptop are ok.



#6 quietman7

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 08:19 AM

So, can a virus or other malware infect the router itself?

I have never heard of a virus, a Windows virus, that actually infected a router or was transmitted by a router. So in that sense, I think that your machines are safe from getting malware from the router.

There is a scenario, however, where the router is involved. It is possible to get malware on your machine that then reconfigures the router. The router isn't really infected. It doesn't have malware on it, but the malware that's on some other machine gets administrative access to the router and resets many of the configuration parameters. The most important configuration is where your systems go to look for DNS.

Can a virus be transferred into our system, or our router, from our granddaughter's smart phone?

This white paper is a good read: Preventing Viruses on Enterprise WLAN - Wi-Fi Security Loopho

Routers can also be subject to vulnerabilties which allow backdoors and traffic which should be suppressed.
* Cisco Router Packet Handling Vulnerability
* Backdoor in wireless DSL routers lets attacker reset router, get admin
* Probes Against Linksys Backdoor Port Surging
* Scans Increase for New Linksys Backdoor
* List of routers and backdoors
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