A Hacker Group Has Been Hijacking DNS Traffic On D-Link Routers For Three Months

If you own a D-Link Router, you might want to pay attention to this ZDNet story.

For the past three months, a cybercrime group has been hacking into home routers — mostly D-Link models — to change DNS server settings and hijack traffic meant for legitimate sites and redirect it to malicious clones. The attackers operate by using well-known exploits in router firmware to hack into vulnerable devices and make silent changes to the router’s DNS configuration, changes that most users won’t ever notice. Targeted routers include the following models (the number to the side of each model lists the number of internet-exposed routers, as seen by the BinaryEdge search engine): D-Link DSL-2640B – 14,327; D-Link DSL-2740R – 379; D-Link DSL-2780B – 0; D-Link DSL-526B – 7; ARG-W4 ADSL routers – 0; DSLink 260E routers – 7; Secutech routers – 17; and TOTOLINK routers – 2,265.

Troy Mursch, founder and security researcher at internet monitoring firm Bad Packets, said he detected three distinct waves during which hackers have launched attacks to poison routers’ DNS settings –late December 2018, early February 2019, and late March 2019. Attacks are still ongoing, he said today in a report about these attacks. A normal attack would look like this:

1. User’s computer or smartphone receives wrong DNS server settings from the hacked router.
2. User tries to access legitimate site.
3. User’s device makes a DNS request to the malicious DNS server.
4. Rogue server returns an incorrect IP address for the legitimate site.
5. User lands on a clone of the legitimate site, where he might be required to log in and share his password with the attackers.

Affected D-Link routers include the following:

  • D-Link DSL-2640B
  • D-Link DSL-2740R
  • D-Link DSL-2780B
  • D-Link DSL-526B
  • ARG-W4 ADSL routers
  • DSLink 260E routers
  • Secutech routers
  • TOTOLINK routers

The article also has this advice if your D-Link router is on that list:

As for the attacks detected by Bad Packets, owners of the above listed devices are advised to check their routers’ DNS settings and compare the DNS IP addresses with the ones provided by their internet service provider. A phone call to the ISP’s call center may be needed to get the IP addresses of the ISP’s normal DNS servers.

However, if you see any of the following four IP addresses, then your router’s DNS settings have already been compromised by this campaign, and users need to upgrade their router’s firmware as soon as possible.

So, if you own a D-Link router, check to see if its on the list ASAP. If it is, you need to take action quickly to protect yourself.

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