Home routers have been ‘vaccinated’ by a benign virus

Home Router ‘Vaccinated’ by Benign, Viruses  have been used to harden more than Ten thousands home routers against cyber-attacks.

Viruses are found everywhere either it is in a computer or a software or hardware or now it has also reached to the routers that are used in homes as well.

A benevolent named virus has been used to harden more than 10,000 home routers against cyber-attacks, says a security firm.

Symantec says that the Wifatch program is closing loopholes and fixing bugs on routers which is infected.

Routers are being increasingly targeted by criminals for stealing personal data or to help with large-scale web attacks.

Symantec has monitored the network of “vaccinated” devices but, so far, it has not been seen putting for malicious use.

Wifatch which was first discovered in late 2014 and since then it has been steadily scouring the web for routers and other smart devices running vulnerable software.

In a blog-post, Symantec said that once Wifatch finds and infects a vulnerable router it connects to other compromised devices for downloading various software updates that make them harder to attack successful.

In addition, it is said that, Wifatch tries to disinfect devices that have been compromised by malicious software. It regularly reboots devices to kill off malware’s running on them and return them to a clean state.

As far as Symantec can tell, Wifatch’s payload has no such malicious components and the growing network of compromised devices which has never been used for attacks, said Symantec security analyst Mario Ballano.

The software also leaves a message on the router telling its owner to change the default passwords and update the firmware that controls the device so that it wouldn’t get affected.

Wifatch targets a wide variety of home routers that runs in the variations of the Linux operating system. Symantec said that “tens of thousands” of gadgets were harboring Wifatch. About a third of all the devices it had hit were in China with Brazil and Mexico making up another quarter of its victims.

Symantec remained cautious about the intentions of Wifatch despite its benign appearance.

“Wifatch is a piece of code that infects a device without user consent and, in that regard, is the same as any other piece of malware,” said Mr.Ballano.

“It should also be pointed out that Wifatch contains a number of general-purpose back doors that can be used by the author to carry out potentially malicious actions,” he added.