US and UK say Russia responsible for hacking millions of business and home routers worldwide

If your personal home router was hacked, your wifi isn’t safe to use – see what you can do to protect your home browsing and online activity

The US and UK have discovered millions of routers in businesses and homes have been hacked and they’ve announced that Russian state-sponsored actors as being behind the attacks. The US, including the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, and the British, found signs that the attack is part of a coordinated campaign to target these routers in an effort to create a base for future actions.

What were the Russian’s motives for hacking routers around the world?

Motives could range from spying, stealing proprietary information or as mentioned above, for setting a base for taking action for political advantage at some future point.

Whose routers did the Russian’s hack?

This router invasion was broad, targeting governments and businesses of all sizes. And going beyond these targets, the hacked routers included the home routers of average citizens.

What does the hack give the Russians access to, and what can they do with the information?

Such access gives the hackers access to all data flowing through the router, including streaming wifi. Such information includes personal passwords used for accounts from online gaming to online banking and finances. They can steal the credentials and passwords from users as they log into any account from their homes, while they have no idea it’s happening.

What’s more, the hackers are not limited to merely viewing the Internet data businesses and people access, which is bad enough. They can also alter the data flow in manipulative ways, including modifying traffic or denying it, again, all while the users have no way of knowing they’re browsing habits and information are being spied upon and even stolen.

What can users do?

It appears millions of routers have been hacked so far, but there’s no easy way for individual users to tell if their router has been hacked. At this point, the most immediate thing one can do to protect yourself is to change your router (wifi) password immediately to a strong password that is not easily guessable and includes upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters such as #, @, &, !, and so on. And as always, watch your accounts for any supspicious activity and consider having your identity monitored by a service if it isn’t already. Millions of Americans have already been impacted by one or more of the many data breaches that have occurred in recent months, including Equifax, Uber, Under Armour, Amazon servers, Yahoo, Saks, and so on.