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Can routers become infected?


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#1 James Boulton

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 06:27 PM

I am using windows 7 and am using a 2WIRE router from Bell to access the internet. I am using Viper for my main anti-virus/ firewall / scans, plus Malware byte and mal-ware, crypto-prevent, and Hitman Pro as additional programs to scan my computer. I have had virus infections three times since buying this second hand computer in December. The last effort caused me two have my external drives cleaned by an expert firm and reformatting and installing everything fresh except for data that I had stored on the external drives. The last several days I have been experiencing programs that refuse to open, mouse pointer that that would not move properly, and moved on its own, and the internet that would lock up. This did not happen all the time, but usually when I would open the computer. If I ran a in-depth virus scan the computer would work fine. None of the programs found any threats outside of cookies occasionally. I have solved the problem by using the recovery program to move Windows back to a time before these problems started, and it seems to work fine.

 

My question is, can a router become infected? Is it possible it was infected from the earlier virus and is trying to re-infect the computer. Is it possible to run a scan of a router?

 

I hope I have posted this in the right place. Any thoughts would be appreciated.



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#2 straightupwv

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Posted 05 April 2014 - 06:37 PM

Yes indeed it can!  I had a similar situation a few years ago.  Every time I cleaned out a piece of malware, it came right back.  I even did a complete hard drive wipe and re-installed my OS only to find I had the same results.  I found that if I rebooted the router, (put a pin in the hole with the button on the side of the router and hold it in for a few minutes), it totally reset the router.  I then reset my password and codes.  I've never had the problem return.  


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#3 quietman7

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Posted 06 April 2014 - 05:37 AM


Routers can be compromised if they have a weak or default password which attackers can easily guess or break using a dictionary attack or brute force attack. 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.

...Some DNS changer Trojans can alter routers' DNS settings via brute-force attacks. As a result, all systems connected to the "infected" router also become infected. Some DNS changer Trojans can also be used to set up rogue Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) servers on certain networks, which can have the same effect.

How DNS Changer Trojans Direct Users to Threats
Millions Of Home Routers Vulnerable To Web Hack
Malware Silently Alters Wireless Router Settings

Some routers have known vulnerabilities which can be exploited to open them up to attacks without needing to know the proper password. There have been various reports of vulnerabilities and attacks against hardware devices such as routers and data storage. For example, Ars Technica reported that ASUS routers and any storage devices attached to them may be exposed to anyone online without the need of login credentials if users have taken advantage of remote access features built into the routers. Linksys routers have been reported to be vulnerable to a simple exploit that could give an attacker remote access to the router.Related ResourcesBest Practice:
1. Keep up to date with all security information related to your router.
2. Always reset your default router password with a strong password?.
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#4 James Boulton

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 05:02 PM

Thank you ... much appreciated. I have reset the router, and am in the process of talking with the owner of the router  (Bell) about my security concerns. I had no idea that routers were so vulnerable. I will post what I find out. Once again thank you for your assistance.



#5 quietman7

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Posted 07 April 2014 - 05:39 PM

You're welcome.
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