It’s not as unlikely as you might think. In fact, it’s happening right now. More than 700,000 internet routers that were distributed by a variety of different manufacturers have been found to contain a security flaw which makes them vulnerable to hackers.
The Flaw in Routers
What’s known as a “director transversal” flaw was discovered – basically it allows unauthorized users to gain access to administrative credentials and configuration data for DSL systems. Hackers are smart; they won’t just take that information and sit on it.
Manipulating the configuration settings would allow hackers not only to change your Wi-Fi password – even worse, they could use the routers as tools in their next cyberattacks, potentially infecting more and more people or entire businesses using the Wi-Fi connection.
Origins and Safety
The vulnerability was first confirmed in routers that were distributed by Internet service providers in India, China, Egypt and Argentina, among other countries. Some were also located in the United States.
Unfortunately, researchers have found that attackers traced to IP addresses in China are already probing the routers and potentially using them for harm.