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FTC sues D-Link over router and camera security flaws

by
Ari Lazarus
Consumer Education Specialist, FTC

If you’ve got a wireless network, your wireless router connects your computer and other devices to the internet. If it’s reasonably designed and configured, the router also is a gate that should prevent hackers from accessing your devices and data. Hackers have used unsecured internet-connected devices, like routers and cameras, to steal people’s data, spy on their activities, and even bring down important websites. So it’s pretty important that routers – key connections to the internet – are secured, right?

The FTC thinks so, which is why today we’re suing the makers and distributors of D-Link products, for failing to take reasonable steps to secure their routers and IP cameras.

D-Link claimed its routers were “EASY TO SECURE” with “ADVANCED NETWORK SECURITY,” but the FTC says the company failed to protect its routers and cameras from widely known and reasonably foreseeable risks. According to the FTC’s complaint, hackers could use a special search engine to find vulnerable devices over the internet and get their IP addresses. After that, the FTC says it was pretty simple to gain access to people’s sensitive data, including tax returns and other financial information.

The complaint also says security gaps could allow hackers to watch and record people on their D-Link cameras without their knowledge, target them for theft, or record private conversations.

These tips can help you secure your router:

  • Before you buy or replace a device, do research online. Use search engines to find reviews, but be skeptical about the source of the information. Is it from an impartial security expert, a consumer, or the company itself?
  • Download the latest security updates. To be secure and effective, update the software that comes with your device. Check the manufacturer’s website regularly for new software and updates.
  • Change your pre-set passwords. Change the device’s default password to something more complex and secure.

There are additional steps you can take to help keep your IP camera secure.