Sophisticated hackers have been infecting network routers with malicious software for at least a year, and you need to know about it. So far, this malware has spread to countries on three continents, and there doesn't seem to be any sign it will slow down.
The malware is called SYNful Knock and it spreads over networks from router to router. SYNful Knock takes over the router by replacing the software that runs it.
So far, affected routers include Cisco models 1841, 2811 and 3825. Cybersecurity experts say this malware could start taking over other routers.
Cisco executives say this isn't a problem with its routers. Instead, cybercriminals have been gaining access to routers by stealing network administrators' credentials.
These hacks have targeted governments and companies. Experts say the hacks are so sophisticated that it's likely that a government with a cybersecurity agency is behind these router hacks, not individual hackers. The concern is that these hackers are taking over routers so they can spy on government officials and business executives.
A bigger concern is that hacks involving hardware, like routers, often bypass anti-virus programs that you install on your computer. However, there's a little bit of good news here for you.
So far, it seems individuals are not being hacked, and these hacks have not yet hit the United States. Affected countries are India, Mexico, Philippines and Ukraine.
Still, you always need to protect yourself, which starts with an anti-virus software. For suggestions for free anti-virus software, visit the Komando Security Center. You can also check your router with this free tool from F-Secure.
Plus, Cisco is aware of the problem and has been actively alerting its customers how they can check for the SYNful Knock hack. (For more details, visit Cisco's blog.)