Hackers around the world are hard at work trying to gain access to computers via home appliances that are connected to the web. It’s a major assault on home users and the Internet on the whole, and there’s not much we can do at the moment to put a solid stop these attacks.
The company behind the leading antivirus program, Avast, has come out with a stern warning for home users. The company is saying hackers have decided to target home routers, and it’s a huge thread to consumers.
Can a hacked router be fixed?
If a user realizes his or her home router is hacked, the first idea is likely to reset the entire device and return to browsing the web. However, this is not the case, according to Avast chief executive Vincent Steckler.
The only way to get rid of the problem is to throw away the router and purchase a new one. That might seem extreme for some, but it’s the only option at this time.
“It’s a trivial thing to do and there’s nothing the user can do to fix it, other than to throw the router away and put in a new router,” says Steckler.
Due to the rise of the Internet of Things, more consumers are using home appliances with Internet-centric features, and hackers are willing to take advantage of this. Not to mention, several IoT devices are not secure, and as such, they pose a major problem for folks browsing the web.
According to Avast, toys, smart TVs, coffee machines, and audio systems are the most vulnerable today. The Prague-based security should know, because it prevents 3.5 billion malware attacks each month, which only goes to show how much of a problem the web is facing.
Arrest of a hacker in London
Back in February of 2017, police officers in England arrested a London suspect who allegedly hacked into home routers in 2016. Apparently, his cyber attacked hit over 1 million German households.
To demonstrate what these hackers can do with home routers, Avast decided to hack into a router at a show in the United States. After hacking inside the router, the company changed the firmware, took control of a smart TV, and made it play a Barrack Obama speech repeatedly.
“Even if you turn off the TV, the router turns the TV back on and the user can’t see anything other than the Obama speech,” Steckler said.
This is similar to some Android malware that launches an advertisement on the screen whenever an Internet connection is active. If the user turns off the Wi-Fi or the mobile data from the device, the malware automatically turns them back on again.
Many Americans care a lot about their TV, and as such they would likely pay a ransom for it. For this very reason, ransomware hackers have made a lot of money from regular folks who have no idea what’s really going on.
It’s a form of scamming, and we hope security experts find a way to put an end to it as soon as possible.