10,000 routers hacked and have become more secure | Wifi-Hacking |
In a surprising and unprecedented incident, 10,000 home
based routers have been hacked and in a surprising turn of events, these
routers have become more secure. It seems that the malware has been implemented
by a White Hat hacker who intends to identify vulnerability in the routers and
prompt the users to address the security related issues and change their
passwords. According to Symantec, the application cleans the routers of any
suspicious malware and then asks the users to change their password to
something more complicated.
Malware is a term that is generally has a negative
connotation and hence a malware capable of improving security of a system is
something unheard of. The name of the application is Wifatch software and gets
installed on Linux operating system based routers. It works through a peer to
peer network and when it detects a Telnet port which is vulnerable, the
application shuts down the port. Telnet ports generally have easy to crack
passwords and are therefore highly vulnerable to attacks.
Wifatch updates the firmware of the routers and asks the
users for changing the passwords. It also has a module for detecting common malwares
and therefore efficiently identifies them and eliminate them. The application
is highly effective against DDoS or distributed denial of service attacks
carried out by other malwares.


A signature included in the email belongs to Richard
Stallman, a supporter of free software. It does seem that the authors of the
code intentionally did not hide it so that everyone can look at the code. Mario
Ballano, a Symantec researcher has however stated that although Wifatch has
good intentions, the methods used by it is similar to that of a malware and
therefore they will consider the application as a malware although unlike other
malwares, it does not breach the security but enhances it.