Belfast Telegraph

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Turn off your Netgear router right now, US government warns internet users

Many Netgear routers are at risk of an easy hack that could easily lead to people's internet browsing being compromised.

Anyone with an affected router – which seems to include many of the company's most popular models – should turn it off if they can, to make sure they are safe, according to experts.

The problem is very simple and exploiting it is "trivial", according to US-CERT, the country's official computer security organisation. "Users who have the option of doing so should strongly consider discontinuing use of affected devices until a fix is made available," the experts, which are part of the Department for Homeland Security, said.

The issue has already been exploited by some users, and there is little that people can do to know they are being attacked. All that needs to happen is a person visits a malicious website, which would run one line of code on the affected router and then be able to take over it.

The bug gives people easy access to the command-line interface, allowing hackers almost unlimited power over a person's internet connection.

Netgear has said that it is looking to fix the issue with new firmware that will be released in the coming days. But until then, many of the routers in the company's "R" line are vulnerable to the attack and so are warned to heed the advice.

US-CERT said that people with affected routers can actually hack into themselves to stop them being vulnerable to the exploit, if they wish. By sending a specific command, which actually uses the same hack that is being warned about, the specific part of the router that is vulnerable can be patched back up.

Independent News Service