A British cybersecurity company claims that millions of home Wi-Fi routers and networks are at risk of being easily hacked even if you go to great lengths to use protect your many accounts and logins with strong passwords.
Researchers at cybersecurity company SureCloud say they have discovered a security weakness in the way Google Chrome and Opera browsers handle your saved passwords and how they interact with home Wi-Fi routers and networks over unencrypted connections.
Newsweek reports that SureCloud researcher Elliot Thompson is the person who discovered the alleged security vulnerabilities earlier this year. Researchers say that hackers could easily join a home’s Wi-Fi network and intercept data, steal information and infect the network with malware even when the home Wi-Fi network is protected by a strong password.
“The hacker would be able to join the Wi-Fi network, access shared files, access ‘internet of things’ devices which trust the local network [and] view what websites everyone is visiting,” Thompson told Newsweek. He added, “If those websites are unencrypted, the hacker could attempt to implant malware onto the device to steal passwords or access webcams from the computers on the network.”
SureCloud exploits security flaw in Wi-Fi routers
While the hackers could possibly steal information from your home Wi-Fi network, it would require a few steps.
SureCloud told Newsweek that hackers would need to first be in the range of the Wi-Fi router. Since the alleged security vulnerability was uncovered in Chrome and Opera, potential victims using those browsers that save Wi-Fi login credentials to an open network. In addition to the above, users would also need to click on a fake pop-up message that looks like it’s from their Wi-Fi router administrator menu.
A video posted to SureCloud’s YouTube channel shows how a home Wi-Fi network could be hacked. In the video, the “victim” computer briefly loses its Wi-Fi connection and when the user clicks the reconnect button in Chrome, the network connects to the hacker’s network.
While this alleged Wi-Fi security flaws discovered by SureCloud requires a few variables to be in place in order for a home Wi-Fi network to be hacked, there are a few things you can do on your end to make sure your home network remains safe.
If you’re someone who logs into your Wi-Fi router to make changes or updates to settings, use a separate browser other than Chrome or Opera or go into Incognito mode. In addition, make sure you never click on a suspicious pop-up message that appears randomly when you’re browsing the web or computer. When in doubt, open your browser in private mode and do a web search of the pop-up message to see if it’s something you need to address before clicking on it.