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How Malware Can Infect Your Wi-Fi Router

It’s true: malware can now infect your router, which means that any device connected to your router could be infected by malware. Protect yourself now.

There have been reports for years about routers being infected with malware. Unfortunately, it’s now being reported that new strains of malware, like Switcher Trojan, can infect a single device in order to gain access to your Wi-Fi router. This kind of malware is often distributed through malicious apps that are disguised as popular apps. Once the malware has infected a device connected to the network, it can then infect your router and spread the malware to all devices that are connected to the Wi-Fi network.

Your router isn’t likely to recover once it is infected by this type of malware — you’ll have to buy a new router. Luckily, this type of malware can be easily prevented if you take the necessary precautions. Make sure to be aware of the latest malware threats, in addition to practicing safe online habits, such as avoiding suspicious-looking links. Don’t download any apps that have few downloads/reviews, or appear suspicious in language or design. Further, run regular virus scans on your smartphone so that you can catch malware before it spreads. 

What to Do If Your Router Has Malware

As mentioned, malware like Switcher Trojan cannot be removed from your router — you’ll have to buy a new router. That’s why preventative measures, such as practicing safe online habits and running virus scans on your device, are so important. You can also protect your device from malicious websites and phishing attempts by activating Safe Navigation whenever you browse the Web:

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If your router has a more “benign” form of malware, however, you should be able to remove it. An example of this is the Mirai malware; this type of malware is used to weaponize a device for the purpose of DDoS attacks. Luckily, once you unplug your router and reboot it, the malware should no longer be on the device.

How to Tell if Your Router Has Malware

Unfortunately, routers are not as secure as they should be. A lot of this has to do with a manufacturer’s design, a lack of regulation for device safety, and a lack of concern for security among Internet providers. Further, routers don’t often receive critical security patches or software updates, which can leave the devices vulnerable.

There are a few ways that you can tell if your router has been infected with malware. These include: a change in your DNS server; a malicious DNS server hijacking your server to reroute Web traffic to malicious sites; and a missing HTTPS where there should be one. You can check to see if the router has been infected or not by verifying that the DNS settings are correct.