Given how much personal information passes through them each day, it’s always important to ask: just how secure is your home broadband router?
Your router is the gateway to your home network – supplying your smartphone, laptop and other gadgets with a secure internet connection.
But along with your router perhaps not performing as well as you’d like, there’s always a chance that someone unwanted might try to gain access to it and all that personal information that flows through it.
Generally speaking, they’d need to be in close proximity and have serious technical knowledge to hack your router – but the risks still exist, especially with older routers that may no longer be receiving software and security updates.
To work out exactly what the situation with old routers is, we enlisted the help of information security firm Context IS.
We looked at two routers that were seven and five years old from two major ISPs – and based on our survey, it’s highly likely both are still being used in thousands of homes.
On both, the analysts found long-established security holes in small pieces of software that allow routers to talk to devices the devices connected to it, including USB drives and printers.
These flaws could allow an attacker to upload and run malicious code, but only if they had physical access to the router.
It’s worth reiterating that the risk is low, but we’d still always recommend you make an effort to have the most up-to-date router possible to minimise as yet undiscovered vulnerabilities.
Do you even know how old your broadband router is? Do you make an effort to upgrade it regularly? Should broadband companies do more to protect their customers?