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Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Tuesday, 13 Nov 2018

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Whitwick & District U3A - Computing tip July 2014

You may have come across an item in the news recently about compromised routers, and probably thought it all too complicated or not relevant to you. Regrettably this may not be the case.

As well as being part of the link between your computer or other devices and the internet, it also plays a role in protecting you from some forms of attack. It does this by blocking most uninvited incoming messages i.e. it is acting as a firewall. This is the default behaviour for most domestic routers, but the can be set to do otherwise.

The compromised routers have a "backdoor", which means that there is a means of changing their settings from the internet, and those changes could disable the firewall function. Since this "backdoor" has been found, the manufacturers have in most cases sorted out a fix to block this behaviour. However, this may or may be not applied automatically by your ISP, and if you have an affected router it may require a sequence of actions on your part.

Generally the affected routers are slightly older models, but it is important to check (see lists below). Do note it is the manufacturer's model number that matters, not who supplied it to you. Hence, for example, you might have a Netgear router supplied to you by BT. Many of the major ISPs have information about whether they provide automatic updates, and if you need to take action. See below.

If in doubt it is worth checking the website of the manufacturer to see if there is an update for your particular model, and if so how to install it.

ISP links

BT

TalkTalk

Sky

Manufacturer links

Netgear

Belkin

Routers probably affected

Possibly affected routers

Routers thought to be OK

These lists courtesy of people too numerous to mention.

 

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