With the increase in remote working, hackers are targeting home WiFi networks more and more. Many home-workers use unpatched and misconfigured routers to access business data and files. So it’s easy to see how this newly recognised vulnerability would appeal to cyber criminals.
Whilst there are more common cyber security threats such as ransomware and other social engineering techniques, by hacking your WiFi, a cyber criminal could access your bank details, social media channels, and passwords for personal and business accounts.
In 2021, T-Mobile had an unprotected router exploited by hackers who stole the data of 50 million customers.
If you usually rely on the office IT team to spot suspicious activity, would you know if your home WiFi had been hacked?
Signs your WiFi has been hacked.
Unfortunately, there’s little opportunity for home users to learn about the signs of WiFi hacking, or how to protect themselves. So here are just some of the ways to detect foul play over simple connection problems:
Most routers are issued default login credentials that should be changed during the initial setup. If you’re immediately thinking ‘I’ve never updated mine’, we can promise you you’re not alone. But urge you to do so as soon as possible as these default login credentials are child’s-play for hackers.
Default or personalised, if your login details are rejected, it can mean one of two things. There could be a firmware problem or your router may have been compromised. Look out for unusual network behaviours that could confirm your suspicions.
All paths lead to the same place
If you’re suddenly directed to the same website no matter what you do or which device you use, your router has been hacked.
Constantly used to access websites, SaaS applications and other business applications, a misconfigured browser provides hackers with the perfect gateway to steal data and install malware across every connected device in your home.
One of the leading causes of browser misconfigurations is poor patch management.
Unfamiliar software such as new toolbars or fake AV software is a sign malware has been installed remotely. If you spot something you’ve not intentionally downloaded, uninstall the software on your device. Don’t forget to check all other devices connected to your WiFi immediately.
Held to ransom
If a hacker manages to seize control of your router, they may use it to launch a ransomware attack. You’ll receive an email, text or pop-up message demanding payment for its release. The number one rule here is ‘don’t pay a penny’.
What to do if your WiFi is hacked and how to prevent it
Whether your WiFi has been hacked or you read this blog and decide to take action, there are a few golden rules you can follow to reduce your vulnerability:
1. Change your login credentials: Always change the default network name and password on your router to something strong and unique. Not only will this make your password harder to guess, but it will also show anyone looking that you pay attention to your cyber security.
2. Update the router’s firmware: Keep on top of updates. Poor patch management makes life simple for hackers.
3. Deactivate remote admin: If your router has a remote admin option, you should disable it.
4. Use a secure VPN: The simplest way to protect yourself from hacking is to work via a VPN.
5. Use a sufficient antivirus solution: Antivirus software is crucial for preventing damage from malware and viruses if a hacker was to gain access. But it’s not one-size-fits-all. It’s important the solution you use supports the level of data it’s protecting.
We can help…
As a business owner or IT manager, home working can be a concern. Employees are concentrating on their roles and not often the impact of IT security.
A survey found that 20% of workers had not received any IT advice or cyber security training before moving from the office to homeworking.
That’s why we offer free cyber security training to all of our clients and their teams. By raising awareness of how cyber crime works and what could go wrong, we can help you protect your business and your employees from becoming personal victims of a cyber attack.
To find out more or to book a session for your team, drop us a line.