What the Tech: Protecting your home Wi-Fi router

By Jamey Tucker

Published: Jul. 8, 2022 at 7:53 AM GMT+10|Updated: 10 hours ago

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – The home Wi-Fi router is one of those things we don’t think about until it stops working.

It’s responsible for making sure all of those devices in our homes can connect to the internet. You could even argue it’s the single most important device in your home.

The bad guys think so because they’re making Wi-Fi routers their favorite target. Cyber Security analysts at Black Lotus Lab discovered malware in routers used in small homes and home offices.

Here’s how they say it works: The malware is deployed, most often, when someone opens an email attachment or visits a rogue website.

MORE | What the Tech: Finding the best deals on Google Travel

The malware gains access not just to the computer but to the network’s Wi-Fi router.

If you never changed the default username and password, hackers can easily find the login information online and have access to the router’s administrator settings.

Once logged on as an administrator, they can upload and download files to any device that’s connected to your Wi-Fi router. Phones, computers, web cameras, TVs, doorbells, and locks. Everything.

The Black Lotus Lab analysts say this malware has primarily stolen personal information, financial information, and secure business info, but add, it’s very sophisticated. There’s no limit to the damage it can do.

MORE | What the Tech: What to do when your smartphone gets wet

How do you know if your router is compromised? If the computer is sluggish, not loading pages or running programs like before. Or you get unusual pop-ups on the screen or get taken to strange or spoofed websites.

To protect your router and everything connected to it, turn the router off, wait about 20 seconds and turn it on again. This will reset the router and install any updates. This will delete the malware from running on the Wi-Fi network.

Change the username and password in the router’s settings.

If your router is five years old or older and it hasn’t been updated, you’ll want to re-set the router soon.

You may also want to get a new Wi-Fi router. They’re much faster and more secure than they were five years ago.

Copyright 2022 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved

Share this post: