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Lizard Squad hackers took over home routers to spread malware

Lizard Squad hackers took over home routers to spread malware
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The Lizard Squad sounds like the latest line of toys you'd see advertised on a kids' TV show. Unfortunately, it's something far more dangerous.

In reality, the Lizard Squad is the newest high-profile group of hackers to make a mark. It was behind the Sony and Microsoft gaming network outages that happened over Christmas. Surprisingly, though, shutting down Sony and Microsoft wasn't the goal of the attack.

The actual goal of the attack was to be an advertisement for the Lizard Stresser. This tool lets non-hackers pay a fee to knock a chosen website offline. The Sony and Microsoft takedown was Lizard Squad proving to the world that the service works.

Even more worrying that rent-a-hacking services, though, is how Lizard Squad is able to launch its attacks. In fact, it's possible something in your home was part of it, and I don't mean your computer.

Lizard Squad actually goes after home network routers. It makes sense as these don't have security software to detect and remove viruses. If your router is infected, it's hard to tell.

Once the virus is on a home router, it spends most of its time looking for other routers online to infect. Of course, when it gets a command, it switches to helping overwhelm chosen websites until they crash.

The good news is that Lizard Squad is easy to keep out of your router and life. It targets routers that still use the default username and password, such as admin/admin or admin/password.

The router owner is supposed to change this to something more secure when they install the router, but a lot of people don't. If you haven't, or aren't sure you did, now is the time.

Click here for instructions on changing your router password, encrypting your network and everything else you need to do to keep your router safe from hackers.

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