Hackers Hijacking Routers to Spoof Public Health Sites

Updated: May 21

Cybercriminals are conducting attacks on home and small business routers in attempts to redirect users to fraudulent COVID-19-themed pop-up messages that plant information-stealing malware on their computers.


Global cybersecurity company Bitdefender reports hackers are using brute-force methods to guess the names and passwords of routers so they can change the domain network settings. With the settings changed, a user visiting certain sites will instead be redirected to sites controlled by the hacker. From here, they are sent pop-ups mimicking those from public health organizations such as the CDC or WHO, and prompted to download legitimate-looking COVID-19-related software. Clicking the download leads to information-stealing software being planted on your computer, putting personal information at risk.


BBB recommends the following tips to stay safe from these attacks:


  • Make sure your router’s firmware is up-to-date. Firmware is the software program or set of instructions programmed into a device. Ensuring it’s updated prevents hackers from exploiting any vulnerabilities in the device.

  • Change your router’s login information, on your computer and in the cloud if necessary.

  • Make sure your computer’s security software is installed and updated. This increases the likelihood that you will be alerted when visiting fraudulent websites, and/or installing malware.


Visit www.bbb.org to find reputable IT businesses, and report any suspicious activity to www.scamtracker.org.


#ScamTracker #BBB #IT #InternetScam #Cybersecurity

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