In a previous blog we showed how easy it is for cyber miscreants to hack home routers. While this is an approach some hackers use, many router attacks are actually based on automated scans, probes and exploits that you probably wouldn’t even detect.

Only last month UK and US intelligence agencies revealed that a Russian cyber campaign had been targeting millions of routers worldwide as part of an attempt to hijack the Internet’s infrastructure. The campaign also targeted network switches and firewalls.

Whether this is overstated or simply a classic case of psyops in which the ‘evil enemy’ is demonised in order to justify similar nefarious activity, it’s difficult to say, such is the murky world of spooks and hackers.

The point is though that home routers are typically too vulnerable to all sorts of attackers.

Here’s how to tighten up your router security in a few simple steps:
  • Your wireless router will almost always come with a pre-set password to let you connect your devices over Wi-Fi. Even ill-informed hackers can discover these passwords (see earlier A hacker tutorial – on how to get into your home router blog). But you can change your password.
  • Launch your preferred web browser whether it’s Chrome, Firefox or some other and enter the address of your router into the browser’s address bar.
  • This number will be listed in your router instruction manual. If it’s not, or your router manual is long gone, you can enter 192.168.1.1 into the browser.
  • You’ll see something that looks like a webpage, which is hosted in the router. From here, you can make changes to the router
  • To change the default password, click the Administration tab. This may vary between routers though but it shouldn’t take you long to figure out where the password setting is.
  • Some older routers come by default with incredibly weak passwords such as ‘admin’ so remember to create a strong password. 

That’s it. You’re home and dry with a nicely secure router to keep out those pesky Russkies, spooks who are snooping just because they can and hackers with nothing but bad intentions.