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Wi-Fi Routers: More security risks than ever

We all use wireless routers in our homes, at work, and even at a local coffee shop. The issue here is that security researchers have discovered dozens of significant security holes that could possibly affect you as the end user. The report details will be revealed at Defcon, which is an annual convention for Security Professionals. The wireless routers affected include the following: Asus RT-AC66U, D-Link DIR-865L, and the TrendNet TEW-812DRU. Luckily these vulnerabilities have been submitted to the manufacturers so they can work on fixing them with a proper update.

What many home and business users who implement these wireless routers don’t realize is that these devices aren’t a set it and forget it device. Based on my network security experience popular devices such as the ones listed above are always getting their software, or firmware, updated. Think of these updates as Windows Updates on your home PC, Microsoft constantly patches security issues to improve on their software. Updates for wireless routers aren’t released quite frequently as Microsoft updates but they usually are available on a quarterly basis. An easy solution to this would be to have the manufacturers of these wireless routers implement an automatic update feature, with the ability to opt out of it.

According to a recent article, all it takes is for an attacker to go to a local coffee shop or establishment that offers free Wi-Fi. Then, use one or many of the exploits to attack unsuspecting users connected to the same Wi-Fi network. I would be wary of what type of activities you do on publicly access Wi-Fi networks. You never know who’s watching you.