Bitdefender secures Netgear routers
Netgear, an American manufacturer of network equipment and home security products, announced the availability of the new "Netgear Armor" service, which core is provided by Bitdefender. Netgear Armor is a combination of router functionality and technology that protects the entire home network and all connected devices. The Netgear Armor service is available through a software update and subscription for Nighthawk AC2300 Smart WiFi (R7000P) and Nighthawk AC1900 Smart WiFi (R6900P) routers. Over time, the number of available models of routers supporting the service will be greater.
Netgear Armor is more than Bitdefender anti-virus on the router
Currently, the number of devices connected to the Internet is several times higher than the population in the world. According to Gartner's predictions, 2020 smart devices will be over 20 billion, in addition, these statistics only apply to so-called IoT devices. The study does not take into account smartphones, laptops, computers, which also need to be secured in some way - preferably at the router level. Until now, this option was reserved only for expensive company devices. Now, thanks to the Netgear Armor service, it's changing.
The Netgear Armor service consists of the application Nighthawk to manage and receive notifications about blocked attacks and detection of malware, an unlimited number of licenses for Bitdefender Total Security software, as well as a subscription for technology securing the home network already in the router. Protection against cyber attacks is carried out before the malicious file reaches the device, so we have to deal with several modules:
- URL scanner that checks every outbound connection in the Bitdefender cloud. If the website address is blacklisted, it will be blocked. It is not without reason that we recommend the Bitdefender Trafficlight extension. This is probably the most effective scanner detecting malicious websites that is available for browsers.
- Vulnerability scanner that identifies network vulnerabilities: weak or default passwords and unsecured or badly encrypted communications. The Netgear Armom service retrieved vulnerability information from the global vulnerability database and correlates it with devices on the network. Reports will contain tips to help you improve your security.
- Notifications about connected new devices to the network and regardless of the operating system. The device information will be shared in the Nighthawk application. These unwanted ones can be blocked with one click of the switch on your smartphone.
Threats for routers
Malware VPNFilter has proven how important security updates are. The report released by the Cisco Talos Group sheds more light on the use of botnets with a decentralized structure to acquire more devices, including routers, NAS servers and IoT to a group of controlled and used zombie devices in attacks on devices on the Internet. VPNFilter can infect more devices than the first experts' analyzes indicated. Among the susceptible brands are routers, NAS servers and IoT devices from ASUS, D-Link, Huawei, Ubiquiti, UPVEL, ZTE, Linksys, MikroTik, Netgear, TP-Link and QNAP. It is estimated that VPNFilter has infected at least half a million devices, creating a gigantic botnet, but their real number and the exact list of manufacturers will never be developed.
VPNFilter is attributed to Russian hackers (but it may well be a false flag). After installing itself on the device, it can capture and search network traffic passing in both directions on the HTTP / S and Modbus TCP / IP protocols for data logging purposes, thanks to which it creates a strategic advantage over the unconscious user / administrator. It can easily provide an exploit for another device connected to the LAN or redirect the user to a malicious website. VPNFIlter can remove traces from logs as well as survive restart because it modifies NVRAM and adds to crontab. In critical situations, one of the VPNFilter modules can overwrite zeros of the first 5000 bytes in / dev / mtdblock0 and restart the device, which will be suitable for disposal - in home conditions only real enthusiasts will be able to upload new firmware to the EEPROM memory.
It is worth knowing that the attack can be carried out ONLY on susceptible devices, and they usually have a default configuration, including the default password and login set by the manufacturer, as well as old, non-updated software. According to Bitdefender, as many as every other router may have a more or less significant security hole, where most consumer class routers are not updated after two years from the purchase.
Let's keep our fingers crossed for Netgear so that after a few years it does not turn out that the user will be forced to buy a newer model. The Bitdefender protection subscription itself may be insufficient if the router firmware is not updated.
NETGEAR Armor as a service
The Netgear Armor service is available by updating the Netgear router firmware. For now, we're talking about the Nighthawk AC2300 Smart WiFi (R7000P) and the Nighthawk AC1900 Smart WiFi (R6900) dual-band router. In addition, customers using Netgear Armor can install Bitdefender Total Security software free of charge on any device running Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android. The number of installations is not limited by a license.
- Netgear Armor can be tested for free for 90 days. After this time, the protection extension costs $ 69.99 a year.
- For now, Netgear Armor is available only to customers in the US. We asked Netgear Polska (by phone, email and Facebook) about the availability of the service in our country, but we have not yet received an answer.
- Additional details about the Netgear Armor service can be found on the Netgear website and the manufacturer of known anti-viruses.
Bitdefender has similar hardware with the service in its portfolio, but Bitdefender BOX is only sold in the United States.
Regardless of the router model, everyone can check the router and connected devices to the network free of charge using the Bitdefender Home Scanner application.
Users who are interested in a similar solution can now try the F-Secure SENSE solution. Router with anti-virus and advanced firewall detecting attacks is available in Poland. A detailed review and security test is described in this article.
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