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Protect Wireless Routers From Hackers

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Protect Wireless Routers

Almost everybody who is using broadband services has a wireless router. Most astonishing fact is that most don't take actions to protect and secure their wireless router. When a provider engineer set up the Internet, he/she put the default password or catchy which password, which most of the users don't take efforts to change.

Whereas they should concern and stay vigilant about protecting WLANs (Wireless Local Area Networks). Some effort, time and energy put into it would prove vital and safeguard from cybercriminals. Thus eliminates risk, remediate vulnerabilities and protect bandwidth. Businesses always create defense strategies to protect their corporate assets and reduce risk.

Measures to Protect Wireless Routers From Hackers

Physical Protection

Turn off the wireless router when not required, or after office hours and go green. It would reduce RF (Radio Frequency), noise (both Radio Frequency Interference and Electro-Magnetic Interference) and saves energy.
For businesses operating all around, the above option is not possible, but they can keep AP (Access Points) away from the building exterior to attenuate the signals.

Default IP Addresses and Credentials

Change the IP subnetwork, usernames, and passwords which comes preinstalled with a device. As using defaults make the hacker's job easier and others to guess credentials. Provide a long, strong password with letters, numbers, and symbols and keep them secret and change periodically.

Assign Manual IP addresses

Turn off DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) and do not allow guest access. It would make more difficult for a hacker to form a network map, which could be more comfortable with DHCP broadcasts.

Disabling Remote Access or Remote Administration

It would make it difficult for an unauthorized user to gain access.
Allow specific IP blocks or addresses to access and administer.

SSID (Service Set Identifier)

The default SSID contains information about underlying wireless infrastructure, so change default SSID and make them ambiguous. Therefore outsiders would not be able to determine which business LAN it is servicing. The businesses often create dummy SSIDs sent to ‘black hole' (a dead-end of sorts for traffic) which act as a honeypot. This honeypot distracts the hacker from critical SSID.

WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy)

To stop unauthorized access and now WPA (WiFi Protected Access) devised by IEEE and WiFi Alliance. Since 2006,  WEP almost replaced by WPA.

WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access)

Use WPA2 Enterprise (802.1x) and set a unique and robust passphrase (PSK). Several standard encryption flavors available which include WEP, WPA, and WPA2 and WPA3 is emerging. Currently, WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access) is industry standard and most commonly used as 2nd generation security protocol to encrypt traffic on the network.

Mac Address Filtering or Firewall

To restrict certain types of data packets from your local network to the Internet through the Gateway. Use of such filters can be helpful in securing or limiting your local system. Allow Outgoing and Incoming Default Policy and add Mac addresses of the machines allowed to access the network.

Update Router Software

Keep it updated to fix bugs, vulnerabilities or cracks which hackers can exploit. Under maintenance -> update -> firmware update the option is available to synchronize with latest provided by the manufacturer.

Scenario – Why to Protect Wireless Routers?

Imagine at how many locations the engineer has put the same password or is in his/her knowledge. Although it is fictitious maybe one day, this engineer may quit a job, or a company asks to leave. As she/she is aware of passwords and locations and understand the user behavior as So, can't assume what worse she/he can do apart from stealing the bandwidth. This ex-employee of provider company can carry out malicious or nefarious activities which include visiting pornography websites, committing fraud, sending spam emails. The crime-location would trace out to be the Internet user, and all illegal activity would back to this Internet user. Although the truth would come out soon, this user would have to undergo unnecessary trauma and police investigation.

Such hackers or scammers using the wireless range extenders use Internet connection without being traced. The above case could be very rarest of rare, but what if an Internet user has not set any password or default password set on the router. Now, in that case, neighbors would also enjoy its bandwidth, they would watch movies, videos, download program files and much more. This internet user would always find, Internet connection to be slow.


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