There is a hacker calling himself “The Hacker Giraffe”: In December 2018 he made thousands of internet connected printers printout a page without any users permission (internet connected means on WIFI/network). The print out included an advert for a well-known YouTuber called PewDiePie, although he had nothing to do with it all!
At the start of this year the same hacker had another go at incorrectly secured networks finding tens of thousands of open Chromecast devices. A Chromecast is a little plug in dongle that makes your TV act like a Smart TV, allowing you to view (cast) your phone or computer to your TV. This allows you to view photos or watch videos on your TV. The hacker made 65,000 of these devices play warning videos, much to the horror of householders!
It is easy to assume that any internet devices behind your router are safe and invisible to the World Wide Web. But this isn’t the case; your phones, PCs, file servers, thermostats, webcams, printers and smart TVs could all be at risk.
What should you do? You can buy a special device that sits between the internet and your router acting as a firewall, but these can be expensive, especially if they have subscriptions. The other thing you can do is turn off UPnP (Universal Plug and Play). This is a setting on many routers which is turned on by default. UPnP is a system which allows networks to communicate to each other and isn’t something the average home user or small business would ever need. This can be turned off on your routers settings page. Please be careful changing router settings or you might find yourself disconnected from the internet!
The other thing you should always do with any new networked device is to change the default (factory set) password. There are websites that list all devices and their default passwords that hackers use. Like this one I found on a simple Google search https://192-168-1-1ip.mobi/default-router-passwords-list/
If you want a complete technology security survey and live in Sutton Coldfield, Coleshill or surrounding areas please get in touch to arrange an appointment on 01675 470105 or fill in the contact form.