Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
This is Leo Notenboom for askleo.info.
News reports surfaced this week telling of a newly discovered vulnerability. Well, it's certainly not a new vulnerability, and whether or not it's really been "newly discovered" is arguable too. But it's definitely making the news.
As well it should.
So, let me ask you this: what's the password to your router? The password that you use to gain access to the router settings.
If you don't know, or you've never changed it you're probably at risk.
Here's how the vulnerability works:
So how many of you LinkSys owners have a password of "admin" on your router? That's the default password, and if that's the password to your router, you're at risk. If you have a different brand of router, the default is probably something else, but given the overwhelming popularity of brands such as LinkSys, Cisco, NetGear, DLink, and a handful of others, it's pretty easy for malware to just try them all until something works.
So, if you make only one security change today, change the password on your router. Remember to keep it in a safe place, of course, so you'll have it when you need it later.
Oh, and if you do forget the password later, almost all routers have a master reset sequence that will restore the router to its initial configuration, including that default password. Master reset not something you can do remotely; it typically involves actually pushing a button on the router. You'll lose any configuration changes you'll have made, but at least you'll be able to get back in.
Routers are an incredibly important part making sure your local network and the computers on it are safe from external threats. This vulnerability masquerades as an internal user on your LAN, so making sure that your router is configured securely with it's own unique password is extra important.
And yep ... until this morning my router's password was "admin".
Not any more.
I'd love to hear what you think. Visit askleo.info and enter 11177 in the go to article number box and leave me a comment. While you're there, search over 1,000 technical questions and answers on the site.
Till next time, I'm Leo Notenboom, for askleo.info.
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