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Linksys Prompts Password Reset to Prevent Router Hacking

Linksys has prompted users to reset passwords after learning that hackers were leveraging stolen credentials to change router settings and direct customers to malware.

Linksys has prompted users to reset passwords after learning that hackers were leveraging stolen credentials to change router settings and direct customers to malware.

The issue became apparent after the company’s users started seeing an increasing number of messages in their web browsers, instructing them to download COVID-19-related applications that were, in fact, malware samples.

Bitdefender was the first to report on the attack in late March, revealing at the time that the malicious payloads were being stored on Bitbucket, the web-based version control repository hosting service.

The security firm said at the time that the attack, which was mainly targeting Linksys routers, was aimed at modifying DNS IP addresses to ultimately direct users to the Oski infostealer. The attack apparently started on March 18 and had hit over a thousand victims within the first week.

At the end of March, Linksys posted an alert informing users of the malicious attack and requesting them to reset their passwords.

“In analyzing our cloud traffic patterns, we believe there is a coordinated effort to maliciously access and modify Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Accounts using credentials stolen from other websites. Although we have taken additional steps in the cloud to combat these attempts, out of an abundance of caution, we would like all Linksys Smart Wi-Fi users to reset their passwords,” the company said.

The company also informed users that they would be requested to introduce a new password at the next login, and that they should also consider checking their routers’ DNS settings, in addition to ensuring their antivirus/malware detection programs are up to date.

In an accompanying FAQ, the company explained that it decided to lock all Linksys Smart Wi-Fi accounts to contain the intrusion.

“When you change your password, we will check your DNS settings, which were the target of this attack. If those settings were altered, we will fix them for you. It would also be a good idea to restart computers and mobile devices that have been connected to your network,” Linksys notes in the FAQ.

The company also warned that users who downloaded a “COVID-19 Inform App” that their web browser was directing them to might have ended up infecting their network.

According to The Register, Linksys locked users’ accounts on April 2. Upon resetting their passwords, users are also notified whether any of their routers has been compromised.

Related: Several Vulnerabilities Expose Phoenix Contact Industrial 4G Routers to Attacks

Related: Remote Command Execution Vulnerability Affects Many D-Link Routers

Related: COVID-19 Lures Only a Fraction of Daily Phishing Emails

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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