Are you wondering about a virus attack on router? Can a WiFi router get a virus?
Your router is a desirable target for hackers, as it acts as a gateway between your devices and the internet.
Most of the time, we ignore our wifi routers unless something breaks down. But it is essential to be aware that malicious software can be placed on your router, which can have disastrous effects on your entire network.
So, can a wifi router get a virus?
Short answer: Yes.
Like a computer, a router is just as vulnerable to being infected with a virus. To avoid this issue, you will need to scan your router for malfunctions regularly, and if infected, you can reset the router and change the admin password.
In this article, we show you how to find out if your router has viruses, as well as some helpful tips for restarting with a clean slate.
Can Your Wifi Router Get A Virus?
Your wifi router can get a virus if not adequately protected. There have been two prevalent viruses that have infected thousands of networks: VPNFilter and the Switcher Trojan.
This malware typically has three stages in infecting:
Stage 1: The router’s firmware is infected by a malware loader.
Stage 2: Installs additional code that carries out operations like gathering files and data from networked devices.
Stage 3: Malicious plug-ins are being installed that collect sensitive user information by watching network traffic.
Many additional router viruses are currently active on the internet, and they all perform the same tactic.
Note: In contrast to most router viruses, the VPNfilter code does not get wiped after a router reboot.
There is only one way to disinfect a router after being infected by a virus: a full factory reset.
What are the Common Signs of an Infected Router?
Some common signs reported by users with the infected routers are as follows:
1. Your data is encrypted, and the malware is demanding ransom money.
2. The performance of your computer is running noticeably slower than usual.
3. You notice several pop-up antivirus messages on your screen.
4. New toolbars names you do not recognize in your web browser.
5. When you make an internet search, every search is redirected to different websites.
6. You have recently lost access to your online accounts, or your passwords to those accounts are no longer working.
7. You come across a brand-new piece of software unexpectedly installed on your PC.
How to Fix a Wifi Router with a Virus?
To test whether your router is infected, use available online malware detection tools, and we recommend using a well-known and trustworthy source.
A great tool is F-Secure, which looks for any possible viruses on the router and verifies whether the router’s DNS settings have been compromised.
If any of the router scans show that your router is infected, then follow these instructions:
Step #1: Backup Your Data and Files
A good rule of thumb is to make a backup of your important files before attempting to remove any malware. You can do this by automating the process to your cloud or an external drive.
Check-in with your cloud service to see if they can offer any assistance. Also, they might even be able to retrieve any data that has been lost.
Step #2: Reset in Safe Mode
It is essential that you reboot your computer in safe mode if you receive a false antivirus alert and suspect your router has been compromised.
While in safe mode, make sure to uninstall software installed in the past to remove the possibility of malicious activity.
To keep your system secure, you should always keep Windows Defender Offline installed. This app works in the background while Windows isn’t running, allowing you to locate and remove potentially malicious software more efficiently.
In addition, make sure to do an antivirus scan so that there will be no malware left behind and this will remove residual threats.
Step #3: Full Router Reset
Even if you reboot the router, there are many cases where it will not be cleaned sufficiently of a virus infection. Instead, an ideal solution is to do a full router reset.
To carry out this process, you need to insert a pin through a small hole and hold down the button for several seconds.
Instructions to factory reset are typically included on the manufacturer’s website.
Note: A factory reset restores the router to its default settings, so you should only do a factory reset if you're confident the router has been infected.
Step #4: Update the Firmware
If your Internet Service Provider (ISP) provides the router, the ISP likely pushes firmware updates to the router for you.
If you own your router, go to the manufacturer’s website and search for your router model to find the latest firmware update for your router.
Through this, your router will be patched the guard against any known router viruses.
Step #5: Configure the admin password
Unlike an easy password, a complicated password is a preventative measure against viruses and Trojans.
Strong passwords are the best way to keep you safe from a compromised router. Here are the characteristics of a strong router password:
- Made completely random
- More than 17 characters long
- Changed at the end of every 90 days
- Unique from your other passwords
Step #6: Secure router with a VPN.
A VPN (a virtual private network) should be set up on your router if you’re seeking additional security.
Your IP address will be masked, and all of your traffic will be encrypted, which will help you be protected from attacks.
You can either use a VPN on your device or have your router VPN protected. Whether you want to use it to access the net more securely or use it to protect your privacy, a VPN will make a significant contribution.
Routers are no different from computers in that they are susceptible to infection with a virus. It is essential that you frequently check your router for errors and regularly change the router’s admin password.
Read Next: Do WiFi Routers Track Internet History?
How Do I Make My Router More Secure?
To combat security threats, router manufacturers generally release software updates throughout the year.
Many modern routers have an automatic firmware update feature that you should use to ensure your device has the latest, safest software.
Can Someone Hack Your Phone Through Wi-Fi?
Yes. As long as the hacker controls or is connected to Your WiFi, it can hack into a mobile.
If he can perform a DNS Spoofing attack, he will trick your browser into directing your request to a malicious website and potentially download a harmful application on your phone.
To summarize, a wi-fi router can get a virus in many ways, and it is often relatively easy to tell when it is infected.
By frequently checking your router for issues, you can keep your network safe from potential threats.
One of the most effective ways to keep yourself secure is to spend time learning about common malware threats, as well as other security issues.
By better understanding how dangerous internet cyber criminals are, you’ll remain informed and protected when making computer security decisions.
Kevin has over five years of experience working in various Tech startups and providing Technical solutions. He has contributed to many Tech publications and websites.