Old broadband routers with security flaws may leave 7 million households across the UK vulnerable to hackers. A number of old devices have weak passwords or passwords that are easy to guess. Also, these old broadband routers cannot be updated to the latest security patches, etc which makes them vulnerable to the latest malware attacks.
According to BBC, with more people using internet connections during the pandemic. It is a cause of concern as many of the users are still using outdated routers which can be exploited by cybercriminals.
Internet service providers should be clear about how many people are using outdated routers and encourage people to upgrade devices that pose security risks.
Though the government laws to tackle devices with poor security cannot be implemented soon enough, they should be backed with strong enforcement.
Routers from EE, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media, and Vodafone were among those affected. An investigation carried out revealed around 13 old router models for flaws. Nine of these failed to meet requirements proposed by the government to improve legislation around connected devices.
Millions of People in the UK affected
According to a consumer group, nearly 7.5 million people in the UK would potentially be affected by the security flaws. Virgin media responded to the research, saying it did not “recognize or accept the findings” of the research and that 90% of its customers were using its latest router models.
Virgin Media spokesperson said, “The safety and security of our customers is always a top priority and we have robust processes in place to protect them by rolling out security patches and firmware updates as well as issuing customer communications where necessary.”
The BT group, which owns EE said they wanted to reassure customers all of their routers were constantly monitored for possible security threats and updated when needed.
BT group further said “These updates happen automatically so customers have nothing to worry about. If a customer has any issues, they should contact us directly and we will be happy to help.”
TalkTalk said a very small portion of its routers were being used by customers and users. While they can always change their password easily.
Vodafone said the supply of devices named in the research in August 2019, has been discontinued by the company. While all the other devices continue to receive firmware and security updates as long as the device remains on an active customer subscription.