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Are old wireless routers vulnerable to malware/spyware?


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#1 SystemExternals

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 02:27 PM

One of my router is listed in this news. My current router is Linksys E1200.
http://arstechnica.com/security/2014/02/bizarre-attack-infects-linksys-routers-with-self-replicating-malware/


Last year, my router has been displaying malicious adware on popular websites (w/c is supposed to display no ads), So I resetted it to factory defaults. The router has stopped displaying adware on all my devices.


This year for the past 6 months, I think someone has been playing a prank on my google researches. Like someone is posting/creating threads about the topic i'm googling on 4chan and reddit (I am only a lurker on both websites). I resetted my windows 8.1 laptop to factory default. I think someone from there still knows what i am searching on google. And no the router wasn't displaying malicious ads ever since last year.

Is old router the culprit to this? Is it just advertising companies tracking my searches?

Forgive me for terrible english and such a general question (I am noob at networking).

Also I might be just paranoid but I 'm wondering why this is happening coincidentally.

Edited by SystemExternals, 24 July 2015 - 02:29 PM.


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#2 quietman7

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 08:26 PM

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.Best Practice:
1. Keep up to date with all security information related to your router.
2. Always reset your router's default password with a with a strong password.
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