After Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica fiasco, people are scrambling to see what other companies are hoarding their private data.
As of last year, Congress allowed companies like Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon to use the same data-harvesting practices like Google and Facebook. Because these companies are Internet Service Providers rather than simply Internet Services, they can amass far more information about users while also leaving them with little choice about what gets collected.
Last March’s ruling allowed ISPs like Comcast and Verizon to monitor their customers’ online behavior. This data is taken and sold to make targeted Internet advertisements, all without the user’s permission.
Some states, like Massachusetts, are introducing legislation to protect users’ rights. Privacy protections like Massachusetts’ Senate Bill 2062 are far more likely to withstand federal challenges, unlike state efforts to restore Net Neutrality.
Back in 2017, WikiLeaks published documents alleging numerous hacking tools used by the CIA. This 175-page manual details how to hack home wireless routers not only physically, but also via remote firmware upgrades.
The CIA’s tools, code-named “Project CherryBlossom“, are used to monitor, intercept, and control a user’s Internet activity. Many of these tools work by injecting malware into the router’s firmware. This is commonly referred to as a man-in-the-middle attack and is virtually undetectable by anti-virus software.
Routers infected with the Cherry Blossom exploit are able to:
- Monitor traffic to obtain email addresses, chat user names, MAC addresses, and VoIP phone numbers.
- Redirect users to websites with malicious software.
- Hijack the data streams between connected devices to spread malware across the network.
- Create VPN tunnels to access clients connected to the compromised network.
- Copy and store the entire traffic on a network served by a compromised device.
Some allege that infected devices can also spread the exploit to other devices that connect to the Internet via the infected router.
According to the Roskomnadzor, Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, Russia still hasn’t requested VPN services to cease and desist yet.
This is because Russia lacks the technical capability and resources to pull off such a feat. To successfully ban VPNs would require extensive funding and technical skill from the government.
Additionally, a large problem is distinguishing between the two different VPN users. These two users consist of those who use it to access illegal content and those who use it for corporate purposes.
Although very unlikely, a blanket ban would solve this problem. Many organizations, specifically the Association of European Businesses, have brought up concerns about the ban impacting the economy.
While Russia has been slacking on the ban on VPNs, Turkey is stepping it up. Under the regime of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, there have been reports of the introduction of a Turkey VPN ban.
Currently, it is not clear on whether the Turkey VPN ban is already in place or still in testing. According to the Diken news portal, the VPN block is already in place.
Diken News’ report seems to be premature, but it is obvious that President Erdoğan’s regime is planning on going through with the ban. One expert from the Turkish Telecommunications Authority, or BTK, confirms these speculations.
It is advised to research different VPN providers and double check their efficacy in this region.
Broadband Genie recently discovered that 82% of Internet users have never changed the admin password for their router. They have also uncovered that a whopping 86% of users also have never updated their router firmware.
All in all, a shocking 51% of respondents in their survey stated that they never took any precautionary action in protecting their wireless router.
Now has never been a better time to start protecting your wireless network, especially with the growing popularity of smart home devices. Gagan Singh of SVP & GM Mobile at Avast Software stated that,
“The reality is that many smart devices can be compromised, including thermostats, streaming boxes, webcams and digital personal assistants all through the router – and consumers and small businesses are among the most vulnerable users. The first step is to ensure the gateway into the home, the router, is secure. Otherwise, it can offer cybercriminals an easy way to get into our homes and access our personal information.”
When asked about why users never took steps to protect their network, 48% stated they did not know why they would need to, and another 34% stated they did not know how.
Check out FlashRouter’s guide to securing your home network to protect yourself today!
More Steps To Secure Your Home Network
Take the steps to secure your home network from the CIA and vulnerabilities with a FlashRouter.
A FlashRouter provides open-source firmware such as DD-WRT and Tomato to secure and protect your home network from exploits and hackers.
Choose from some of our most popular FlashRouters or contact our support team for more information!