Did You Know Cyberattacks Are Carried Out Through Infected Routers?
Cybercriminals are constantly looking for backdoors into devices and networks. As a result, 75% of cyberattacks, according to Symantec, include hacked routers. A source of 15% of cyberattacks, linked cameras are second only to infected routers.
Routers are widely used and highly attackable. Despite being the brains of any network, routers are often overlooked regarding security. While router vulnerabilities have been found and reported, most devices still lack patches, making them prime targets for hackers. Threat actors’ attention has shifted from intricate OS system and network-based attacks to relatively straightforward router-based ones in recent years.
Several terrifying scenarios have long been inspired by the potential for attackers to disable or tamper with the behaviour of IoT devices that operate machinery or interact in some other way with the natural environment. The possibility of attackers causing physical harm or risk is genuine, whether by compromising Internet-connected pacemakers, intelligent vehicles, or equipment in power plants.
How does Malware get into Routers?
Malware can be installed in a router in two ways: guessing the admin password or taking advantage of a flaw in the system.
In the factory settings, most routers of the same model typically have the same admin password. The admin password is used to access the router settings menu, not the network security key (the string of characters you enter to connect to Wi-Fi). As a result, attackers can quickly guess the password and infect the router if the user unintentionally leaves the factory settings untouched. This is especially true if they are familiar with the router’s brand.
Router vulnerabilities are openings in your router’s defence against threats, opening the door for them to enter your home or office network or even remain hidden inside the router itself, where discovery is less likely. The Vendors of routers issue fixes and new firmware versions to secure vulnerable points. Regrettably, many customers need to be made aware that, like other programmes, the router software needs to be updated.
What is a Network Attack?
A network attack is an effort to enter a company’s network without authorization to steal information or carry out other destructive behaviour. Network attacks generally fall into two categories:
- Attackers who obtain access to a network and can monitor or steal sensitive data do so passively, leaving the data unaltered.
- Attackers actively alter data by deleting, encrypting, or otherwise causing harm and gaining illegal access.
What are the common types of attacks?
1) Unapproved Access
Attackers who gain access to a network without authorization are said to be using it. Weak passwords, inadequate safeguards against social engineering, previously compromised accounts, and insider threats are a few of the reasons why unauthorized access attacks occur.
2) DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) assaults
Attackers create enormous fleets of hacked devices known as botnets and use them to send erroneous traffic to your servers or network. DDoS can happen at the application level, for example, by running complex SQL queries that knock down a database, or at the network level, for example, by sending massive amounts of SYN/ACC packets that can overwhelm a server.
3) Attack by a man in the middle
Attackers intercept traffic between your network and external sites or within your network as part of a man-in-the-middle attack. Insecure communication protocols allow for the theft of sent data, the acquisition of user credentials, and the hijacking of user sessions.
4) SQL injection and code attacks
Many websites take user inputs without validating or cleaning them up. The attacker can then submit a form or conduct an API call while sending malicious code rather than the desired data values. The server runs the code, enabling attackers to control it.
5) Internal dangers
Malicious insiders who already have privileged access to organizational systems can take advantage of a network’s vulnerability. Since insiders might cause harm without breaking into the network, insider threats can be challenging to identify and defend against. To detect insider assaults, new technologies like User and Even Behavioral Analytics (UEBA) can assist in identifying suspicious or out-of-the-ordinary behaviour by internal users.
Tips to Protect your Network
- Check the manufacturer’s website for the most recent router firmware upgrades at least once each month. Then, as soon as they are accessible, install them. Patches may need to be manually installed, but some models receive them automatically. The vendor’s website also contains information on how to update the software on your device.
- For your router, create a lengthy, secure admin password. Use a password manager so you can keep the combination.
- Disable remote access to the router admin settings if you can do so or find instructions (on the website of the same manufacturer, for example).
- Create guest networks, employ solid wireless encryption standards, and properly configure Wi-Fi to prevent dishonest or negligent visitors and neighbours from infecting your network with Malware from their infected devices.
Cyber attacks frequently take place in stages, with the first stage seeing hackers surveying or scanning for vulnerabilities or access points, the second stage seeing them launch the initial compromise, and the third stage seeing them carry out the entire attack, which may involve stealing valuable data, taking down the computer systems, or both.