The U.S. Federal Trade Commission announced a settlement with Asus recently over security vulnerabilities in it’s routers that left thousands consumers’ personal data vulnerable. On Tuesday, February 23rd, Asus agreed to 20 years of periodic security audits along with fines of $16,000 per incident or up to $206 million dollars according to Threatpost.
FTC vs. Asus
The lawsuit is the result of a 2014 router security breach which allowed hackers to place files on the Asus routers informing Asus users that their documents and network were not safe. It also changed settings and left data stored on USB drives connected to routers publicly available. Asus often advertises it’s routers as being able to “protect [the] local network against attacks from hackers” and “protect computers from any unauthorized access, hacking, and virus attacks.” What’s worse is that Asus apparently had been warned and knew about these security vulnerabilities months before they happened. which makes this a particularly egregious oversight on their part which the FTC referred to as “unfair” to consumers.
Asus Firmware Vulnerability Issues
So what exactly allowed this Asus firmware vulnerability? It turns out Asus password protection was very easy to bypass leading to reports of cross-site request forgery and scripting vulnerabilities. In addition, Asus also offered a feature on their firmware known as AIDisk and AICloud that they’ve known is full of security issues since 2014.
These features were touted by Asus as a being a secure and private personal cloud for selective file sharing to safely secure and access your data from your router. Apparently, these features implemented an un-secure File Transfer Protocol (FTP) that simply did not encrypt data as it traveled through consumer’s networks. When an update was finally available to correct these issues, some consumers complained that the Asus firmware incorrectly stated that their router was up to date, even though updates were available.
How To Protect Yourself From Asus Firmware Flaws?
Using an Asus router flashed with Open Source DD-WRT or Tomato firmware is the best way to protect yourself from security flaws. Many Asus models support both firmwares. An Asus model enhanced with DD-WRT or Tomato replaces the very vulnerable stock firmware normally present on these routers. In addition to improving network stability, these firmware’s offer advanced security features like setting up access restrictions, VPN integration, WPS disabling and enterprise level security with Radius Authentication.
Interested in learning more about the benefits of open source firmware? Find more information on our benefits of open source firmware page.
Best Asus DD-WRT & Tomato Firmware Router Models
So whats the best Asus FlashRouter to provide power and range in addition to all the benefits of open source firmware? Right now that is the Asus RT-AC5300 DD-WRT. It has a whopping 8 high powered external antennas for maximum wireless range and an ultra powerful 1.4 GHz processor. This makes it the model of choice for users looking for 4k streaming and fast, lag-free gaming.
Another powerful option is the Asus RT-AC88U DD-WRT. Possessing the same powerful 1.4 GHz processor, this model has 4 high powered external antennas. What really sets this FlashRouter apart, is the 8 gigabit Ethernet ports to handle all of your wired devices for unsurpassed connectivity.
For users looking for an Asus model flashed with the user friendly Tomato firmware instead of DD-WRT, we offer the Asus RT-AC3200 Tomato. With 6 external antennas and a 1 GHz processor, this model is a great balance of range and power that can support multiple users and devices..
Interested in more Asus FlashRouters? You can find a complete list of all the Asus models we offer on our Asus product page. Of course, all of these models come flashed with open source DD-WRT or Tomato firmware to provide a more stable and secure routing experience that is just not possible with the stock firmware found normally on these Asus models.