Wireless routers are an ideal target for cyber criminals. If an attacker gains control of a router, they can monitor, redirect, block or otherwise tamper with a wide range of online activities.
To minimize wireless attacks, here are few basic router tips anyone should include in their security strategies/training protocols.
- Don’t use the default IP ranges. Predictable addresses make CSRF attacks easier. Rather than 192.168.1.1, consider 10.9.8.7 or something else which is not commonly used. This is a simple but effective technique for decreasing the likelihood of a successful CSRF attack.
- Don’t forget to log out after configuring the router: Several of the routers VERT examined will not automatically log out when not in use. This can result in a situation where the web browser used to configure the router remains authenticated, opening the door for CSRF attacks. Although some CSRF attacks can be successful without authentication, this simple step will thwart traditional CSRF attacks which rely upon that authenticated browser session.
- Turn on encryption and turn off WPS: It’s much easier for a router to be attacked if someone can connect to it. Turning on AES backed WPA2 protected with a strong (26+ character) pre-shared key is ideal. WPS is a service which makes it easier for authorized clients to connect but also makes it much easier for attackers to determine your wireless passphrase, regardless of its complexity or “strength”.
- Passwords matter: Default passwords are often the same for an entire product line or are generated from a common algorithm making a device easy prey for an attacker. It is imperative that you and other users change passwords rather than using defaults. Using default or weak passwords can make it possible for malicious applications, or even web pages, attack the router.
- Keep the router firmware up-to-date: Up-to-date firmware fixes known product issues, including security problems. Routinely logging into the router to check for firmware updates makes it more likely that users may notice unusual behavior that could indicate compromise.