Did Malware or Hackers Infect My Entire Household - Need Help

atrueidiot

Solid State Member
Messages
18
Location
USA
Hi,

I'm a true idiot. Let's get that out of the way. I really messed up with my computer security and there's no other way of putting it than to say that I'm a true idiot.

Putting aside my stupid actions, which I will describe below, I wish to ask knowledgeable and trained people for help in securing my home network, computers, and devices and have a slew of questions I'd like to ask on the topic and my specific situation generally. This is going to be kind of long, so I hope you'll be patient with me and realize I really do badly need help.

BACKGROUND INFO. I: I live at home with my parents and younger sister. We have Verizon Fios internet. My sister and I both own laptops. My parents own an iPAD. Parents don't have anti-virus (b/c they think you don't need it for Apple products), but my sister and I do.

A couple of months ago, I visited a porn site that's been known to be a cesspool of malware infected videos. I am a true idiot. Very shortly after visiting that website, my computer started running more slowly. It started off with minor decreases in speed to being totally inoperable practically. Like if I started it up right now and tried to watch a YouTube video, it would probably take 5-8 minutes (minimum) to load a video, whereas before my porn site visit a YouTube video would load and start playing at normal speed within seconds. And if I tried to play a 10 minute video, it would likely take 20-30 minutes (minimum) to fully play through the entire thing with frequent pauses throughout. Web surfing also takes forever to load pages.

Additionally, I've noticed weird stuff at the bottom left corner of my Chrome browser that wasn't there before. Every time I go to a new webpage, it will say "waiting for ______________" and list any number of weird names that aren't the target website. Often there will be 5 or more weird names that are toggled through.

Shortly after I noticed my computer slowing down, my sister's and parent's computers also had the same issue. My parent's iPAD doesn't seem to show as much decrease in speed, but there is noticeable decrease. My sister's laptop also has shown speed issues, although maybe not as bad as mine. Also, her email keeps sending out junk mail to people (me and others have noticed it and told her about it).

BACKGROUND INFO. II: My porn site visit took place in August. However, prior to that back in May, we had a power outage that caused our Verizon Fios router to reset to factory default settings. That meant it went back to a generic login name and password (that I've been told is easily searchable and cracked). Being the ultimate idiot, I did not change the settings after the outage to a more secure and personalized login name and password.

I literally only did so a few days ago after it was clear my laptop had a virus/trojan/hacker or whatever.

Therefore, anyone could have potentially hacked our network from May until late September. And remember that I also visited that porn site in August.

Why did I not change the Verizon Fios router default settings to a personalized one after the outage? I literally forgot and no one else in my family is very computer literate either. I'm the only one who knew to change things in the first place. I just gave my parents and sister the default factory settings name and password like a true idiot!

THE PROBLEM: Obviously, something is wrong with our computers in our house. They are slowed down and mine is super freaking slow.

I fear we may have been hacked via our router and/or had a virus/malware spread from my computer to the others, due to an infection from that porn site.

QUESTIONS I NEED ANSWERED:

1.) What process should I use to secure our household computers and network?

2.) What actually happened? Is it possible that a hacker got our router name and password and then screwed around with our computers by installing malware on them?

Or, could my porn site visit have infected my personal computer with malware and then from being on the same network as my family members the malware spread to them as well? I don't see how it could have spread to my parents' computer if solely from something like email, because I don't email or connect with them in any way online. I do email back and forth with my sister, so that's a pathway of infecting her. I asked her and she also literally never emails or contacts our parents online either. Instead, she'll just walk up to them in real life and say whatever she needs to say. Anyhow, I'm still curious what happened, because it seems everyone got affected in the house.

Avast Internet Security and Malware Bytes (free version) both came back negative when I ran virus searches.

3.) Our devices connected to WiFi were: 2 laptops, 1 iPAD, 1 printer, 2 chromecast units, and the Verizon Fios router itself.

Is it possible for malware to infect things like a printer, chromecast, or even a internet router themselves? I know malware usually infects computers, but what about other stuff that has WiFi and is on the same network? Can these devices be infected and actually contain the malware too. If so, would I have to throw them away and buy like a new router, new printer, and new chromecast units?

4.) I think I might have seen the mouse arrow on my laptop move a few times on its own and click the webcam button on my desktop. I say I think, because it seemed to happen at lightning speed and I wasn't 100% sure. If this did happen, would that mean some person actually turned on my laptop webcam? Should I call the FBI, police, etc.? That part freaked me out.

5.) Do I need to wipe, reformat, or whatever it's called both laptops and iPAD in the house to be safe? As I said above, we came back empty with an AV and Malware Bytes search. So, I can't even target malware to wipe if I wanted to and it existed.

If a complete wipe, reformat, etc. is needed, how do you do it? Never done it before.

6.) I have 1 friend and an aunt who also came by our house to use our network before, since May. Should I tell them about the issues we've had?

7.) Should I tell everyone not to email me or send me social media, because I might have a malware infection? If so, would that literally be on everything like email, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, where I (and family members) have accounts? Could our possible computer malware transfer onto stuff like that when we use online communications/social media?

If I am missing anything else that's important, I welcome anyone and everyone to tell me and teach me. I am not the most computer literate person out there and that is why I am here.

I shall reiterate that I am a true idiot on this matter. I feel I let my family and myself down with my actions. I just want to understand, fix things, and make sure this never happens again in the future. Thank you all very much for your time and your help.
 

carnageX

Private Joker,
Staff member
Messages
25,041
Location
South Dakota
Answers in bold.

1.) What process should I use to secure our household computers and network?

See my "malware removal instructions" below this quoted block.

In addition to that, reset the router back to factory settings and set your required settings - however, do this after you have cleaned 1 system and do this from that known-clean system. Even one of the iPads would be fine, since it's just a web GUI accessed through the browser anyway.



2.) What actually happened? Is it possible that a hacker got our router name and password and then screwed around with our computers by installing malware on them?

That wouldn't matter - the only good that would do really is to connect to your wifi network, or as for settings...to forward certain ports to open you up to different types of attacks, or possibly a router-wide proxy that would affect all devices on the network.

Or, could my porn site visit have infected my personal computer with malware and then from being on the same network as my family members the malware spread to them as well? I don't see how it could have spread to my parents' computer if solely from something like email, because I don't email or connect with them in any way online. I do email back and forth with my sister, so that's a pathway of infecting her. I asked her and she also literally never emails or contacts our parents online either. Instead, she'll just walk up to them in real life and say whatever she needs to say. Anyhow, I'm still curious what happened, because it seems everyone got affected in the house.

Avast Internet Security and Malware Bytes (free version) both came back negative when I ran virus searches.

It's possible it spread, but most likely you're the one that's infected and it is sucking up bandwidth, thus affecting other devices.

3.) Our devices connected to WiFi were: 2 laptops, 1 iPAD, 1 printer, 2 chromecast units, and the Verizon Fios router itself.

Is it possible for malware to infect things like a printer, chromecast, or even a internet router themselves? I know malware usually infects computers, but what about other stuff that has WiFi and is on the same network? Can these devices be infected and actually contain the malware too. If so, would I have to throw them away and buy like a new router, new printer, and new chromecast units?
Possible? Yes. Likely? No. Those are very specialized strains of malware, and 99.9% of the time, going for the social engineering or attacking the computer is the way that's used.

4.) I think I might have seen the mouse arrow on my laptop move a few times on its own and click the webcam button on my desktop. I say I think, because it seemed to happen at lightning speed and I wasn't 100% sure. If this did happen, would that mean some person actually turned on my laptop webcam? Should I call the FBI, police, etc.? That part freaked me out.
See my answer to question 1.

5.) Do I need to wipe, reformat, or whatever it's called both laptops and iPAD in the house to be safe? As I said above, we came back empty with an AV and Malware Bytes search. So, I can't even target malware to wipe if I wanted to and it existed.

If a complete wipe, reformat, etc. is needed, how do you do it? Never done it before.
Again, see question 1. We'll try and clean your system(s) first - and if we can't, then you'll have to wipe your system(s). I prefer to try and clean before a complete reinstall first, however.

6.) I have 1 friend and an aunt who also came by our house to use our network before, since May. Should I tell them about the issues we've had?
Shouldn't be an issue.

7.) Should I tell everyone not to email me or send me social media, because I might have a malware infection? If so, would that literally be on everything like email, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, where I (and family members) have accounts? Could our possible computer malware transfer onto stuff like that when we use online communications/social media?
Shouldn't be necessary. However, after the system(s) are cleaned and malware free....make sure you change your account passwords (social media, email, banking, etc.), in case your passwords were harvested.

If I am missing anything else that's important, I welcome anyone and everyone to tell me and teach me. I am not the most computer literate person out there and that is why I am here.

I shall reiterate that I am a true idiot on this matter. I feel I let my family and myself down with my actions. I just want to understand, fix things, and make sure this never happens again in the future. Thank you all very much for your time and your help.



Malware removal instructions.
Firstly, run a scan with Malwarebytes Antimalware (the Free version is fine, you don't need to activate the Pro trial). Scan with it, delete whatever it finds, reboot and post the log here. Download it from here:
https://www.malwarebytes.org/mwb-download/

Secondly, run a scan with AdwCleaner. Same as above, scan with it, delete what it finds, post the log file here. Download from here:
AdwCleaner Download

Thirdly, run a scan with HiJackThis. Run it as Admin, pick the "scan and generate log" option, and then post the logfile here. Do NOT remove ANYTHING unless told to do so, as removing the wrong entry can damage your system. Download it from here:
HiJackThis | SourceForge.net

Fourthly: run the following two utilities:
TDSSKiller Download
Panda Anti-Rootkit Download
 

atrueidiot

Solid State Member
Messages
18
Location
USA
Hi, carnageX

Your post was very helpful. I posted my question (in exact form) on like a million other different internet forums and asked two friends who are computer science majors as well.

I jotted down (and bookmarked this page for future reference) some of your useful tips for dealing with malware - from diagnosis to removal - that should help me in future scenarios.

My current situation is a little different and here is an:

UPDATE

1.) I've researched some things and was told that the type of malware I may have had (one person said I could have had a trojan) would have potentially made it so that I could never be sure if my laptop was safe or not in the future. So, I chucked it and bought a new one last night.

2.) My sister is away at university, but will be back in the house over Thanksgiving. I've emailed her about the problem, but she already sort of knows something is wrong too from past laptop problems. She also bought a new laptop a few weeks ago and is using that one at school. I plan to only open her emails on a public computer at the library going forward until I know it's safe.

3.) My parents' iPAD is getting worse. When they watch videos - for example, YouTube - the visuals are blurry (whereas, before, it was very sharp and clear) and the speed is slow. Some videos on websites they go to won't even load or take so long to even start that they give up on it. It's starting to go down the path that my own laptop went. Mine started out with a noticeable decrease in speed to the point of being so slow it was pointless to even use.

Their iPAD is getting there. It feels depressing watching this happen.

4.) I was yelled at by my mom after I told her what happened. She's pretty upset

NEW QUESTIONS

I haven't connected my new laptop to the internet yet. I'm scared to do so and get hacked or catch malware from my parents' iPAD.

a.) If I want to change my router's password in a safe way, how would I do that if a hacker previously had our Verizon Fios' router password?

If some evil hacker had it and hacked us and could see everything we were doing, then wouldn't they know have seen that I changed my password and known what it was? If I change it again in the future, wouldn't they be able to see it at all times and thus continually hack me?

b.) I want to wipe/reinstall my parents iPAD to get rid of any virus/malware they might have on it. How do I do that?

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201252

This tutorial is for restoring an iPAD to default, factory settings.

https://support.apple.com/en-la/HT204904

This tutorial is for reinstalling macOS.

Are they the same? Similar? How are they different? Which one should I use if I have a virus/malware and want to just completely wipe the computer (like delete everything on it) and start over as if it was brand new? I want to erase everything that wasn't on there before using it and make it as if my parents just got it out of the box.

Also, would going to an Apple store and asking staff to do it work?

c.) If I used a flash drive on my old laptop and also played DVD movies and installed a printer's software with a CD, during the time I had the infection, could the malware/virus have transferred onto that flash drive, DVD, and CD too? If so, should I throw them out?

d.) If I have a new latop that's never been connected to our network, my parents iPAD is wiped and reinstalled (or whatever you call it) and is also virus/malware clean, and we safely change our router password,

Would that make it safe to compute at home again for me and every in the house?

Thanks from the idiot!
 

atrueidiot

Solid State Member
Messages
18
Location
USA
I forgot to add, carnageX, that I can still perform some of those things you listed, but it would have to be on the iPAD now that my sister's laptop and my old laptop are no longer in the house.

Did you still want those logs done? Thanks again man!

(edit: looks like my longer post is awaiting moderator approval at this website....I posted back to you a longer response that is not showing up yet!)
 

carnageX

Private Joker,
Staff member
Messages
25,041
Location
South Dakota
Replies in bold below

Hi, carnageX

Your post was very helpful. I posted my question (in exact form) on like a million other different internet forums and asked two friends who are computer science majors as well.
As a CS major myself, who has a background in IT... a lot of programmers don't know jack about computers. I was surprised during college at how many of my classmates didn't know how to use/fix computers. Same with my current co-workers (I work in software development).

I jotted down (and bookmarked this page for future reference) some of your useful tips for dealing with malware - from diagnosis to removal - that should help me in future scenarios.

My current situation is a little different and here is an:

UPDATE

1.) I've researched some things and was told that the type of malware I may have had (one person said I could have had a trojan) would have potentially made it so that I could never be sure if my laptop was safe or not in the future. So, I chucked it and bought a new one last night.
Buying a new laptop wasn't necessary

2.) My sister is away at university, but will be back in the house over Thanksgiving. I've emailed her about the problem, but she already sort of knows something is wrong too from past laptop problems. She also bought a new laptop a few weeks ago and is using that one at school. I plan to only open her emails on a public computer at the library going forward until I know it's safe.
Signing into any of your accounts on a public computer is just as bad of an idea - you don't know who was on that computer before you, or who will be after you. Case in point - former co-worker said while at an airport he used a public terminal to look something up quick. Being tech savvy and curious, he decided to snoop around a bit. He found some corporate documents saved on the computer by a previous user, with some personal info & tax info, as well as some other company info on it. He emailed the guy and said "in the future, you may not want to use a public terminal to do these things - the next guy might not be as nice as me."

3.) My parents' iPAD is getting worse. When they watch videos - for example, YouTube - the visuals are blurry (whereas, before, it was very sharp and clear) and the speed is slow. Some videos on websites they go to won't even load or take so long to even start that they give up on it. It's starting to go down the path that my own laptop went. Mine started out with a noticeable decrease in speed to the point of being so slow it was pointless to even use.

Their iPAD is getting there. It feels depressing watching this happen.
Just factory reset the iPad then, to see if that alleviates the issues.

4.) I was yelled at by my mom after I told her what happened. She's pretty upset
What else did you expect to happen? :p

NEW QUESTIONS

I haven't connected my new laptop to the internet yet. I'm scared to do so and get hacked or catch malware from my parents' iPAD.

a.) If I want to change my router's password in a safe way, how would I do that if a hacker previously had our Verizon Fios' router password?
Use the reset button on the back of the router. Holding it for 30 seconds should reset the router to factory defaults. Write down verizon's help line before you do this, in case you need to call them for assistance in logging back into the router.

Then, hook a computer up to the router via ethernet cable, and log into the router (usually it's 192.168.1.1 through a web browser, but you'd have to confirm by checking your default gateway by running "ipconfig" through command prompt). Then you can log into the router with the default user/password (sometimes printed on the router itself), and change the login password, as well as reconfigure your wifi network (the display name and the password to the network).


If some evil hacker had it and hacked us and could see everything we were doing, then wouldn't they know have seen that I changed my password and known what it was? If I change it again in the future, wouldn't they be able to see it at all times and thus continually hack me?
Only if they had a keylogger on your system and you had logged into it on the compromised system(s).

b.) I want to wipe/reinstall my parents iPAD to get rid of any virus/malware they might have on it. How do I do that?

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201252

This tutorial is for restoring an iPAD to default, factory settings.
Yes, this is what you want to do to the iPad to get it back to factory settings. Though, you don't need a PC to reset it; you can reset it from the device itself:
https://support.apple.com/en-us/ht201274


https://support.apple.com/en-la/HT204904

This tutorial is for reinstalling macOS.

Are they the same? Similar? How are they different? Which one should I use if I have a virus/malware and want to just completely wipe the computer (like delete everything on it) and start over as if it was brand new? I want to erase everything that wasn't on there before using it and make it as if my parents just got it out of the box.
Reinstalling the OS on a Mac is just that - for reinstalling OSX on an Apple computer. Do you own an Apple computer, or just Windows computers + the iPads?

Also, would going to an Apple store and asking staff to do it work?
Not necessary

c.) If I used a flash drive on my old laptop and also played DVD movies and installed a printer's software with a CD, during the time I had the infection, could the malware/virus have transferred onto that flash drive, DVD, and CD too? If so, should I throw them out?
It's a good possibility that the flash drive(s) have infections on them as well. You can either replace them, or use something like a Linux LiveCD (such as Ubuntu) to wipe the flash drives clean to be sure there's nothing hiding on them.

d.) If I have a new latop that's never been connected to our network, my parents iPAD is wiped and reinstalled (or whatever you call it) and is also virus/malware clean, and we safely change our router password,

Would that make it safe to compute at home again for me and every in the house?
Theoretically yes. After that, I would suggest resetting all of your account passwords that you logged into on your computer while it was infected, in case the malware stole the usernames/passwords as well.

Thanks from the idiot!


I forgot to add, carnageX, that I can still perform some of those things you listed, but it would have to be on the iPAD now that my sister's laptop and my old laptop are no longer in the house.

Did you still want those logs done? Thanks again man!
Scan's aren't necessary now since you said you just got a new computer. You can't run the scans I mentioned on an iPad anyway - they're Windows PC tools.

(edit: looks like my longer post is awaiting moderator approval at this website....I posted back to you a longer response that is not showing up yet!)

Let us know how things turn out.
 

atrueidiot

Solid State Member
Messages
18
Location
USA
Replies in bold below





Let us know how things turn out.

I will! I'm very grateful for all of your input so far. It's probably the best I've seen. I posted this question at CNET, Computer Forum, Computer Forums (yes, those are two diff. forums), Wilder Security, Tom's Hardware, Stack Exchange, and other places and your answer is one of the more detailed and helpful. So, please accept my undying gratitude.

I will perform the actions tonight when I get home from the library.

I just wanted to double-check with you three things:

i.) https://support.apple.com/en-us/ht201274

Is this link the one that I should use for wiping and resetting the iPAD to factory settings? I posted two links in my message and you seemed to recommend a third/separate one (the one here)? Just want to make sure!

ii.) I'm going to throw away the one flash drive I used during the period of time I was infected. But, I also played some DVDs on my old laptop and also installed printer software using a CD. Could those DVDS and that printer CD be infected too? Should I throw them away too?

iii.) My sister returns for Thanksgiving. Should we ban her from using our WiFi and have her do those test you mentioned on her laptop before using our network?

Okay, thank you one more time! I am feeling much better about this now, because I know what to do and will be happy if we can get back to normal!!!
 

carnageX

Private Joker,
Staff member
Messages
25,041
Location
South Dakota
I will! I'm very grateful for all of your input so far. It's probably the best I've seen. I posted this question at CNET, Computer Forum, Computer Forums (yes, those are two diff. forums), Wilder Security, Tom's Hardware, Stack Exchange, and other places and your answer is one of the more detailed and helpful. So, please accept my undying gratitude.
No problem - that's what I'm here to do - helping out! Glad we could be of useful service.

Replies in bold again.

I will perform the actions tonight when I get home from the library.

I just wanted to double-check with you three things:

i.) https://support.apple.com/en-us/ht201274

Is this link the one that I should use for wiping and resetting the iPAD to factory settings? I posted two links in my message and you seemed to recommend a third/separate one (the one here)? Just want to make sure!
Correct. That way you don't have to hook it up to a PC to do the reset, in case a nasty somehow stuck into the flash storage of the device.

ii.) I'm going to throw away the one flash drive I used during the period of time I was infected. But, I also played some DVDs on my old laptop and also installed printer software using a CD. Could those DVDS and that printer CD be infected too? Should I throw them away too?
No, those will be fine. CD's and DVD's are read only once burned, unless they're RW discs, but those are usually ones you would burn yourself.

iii.) My sister returns for Thanksgiving. Should we ban her from using our WiFi and have her do those test you mentioned on her laptop before using our network?
May be a good idea to run the tools I mentioned, yes. As for "banning her from the wifi" that may be a bit extreme. If your router allows you, you could setup a secondary Guest network, and have her connect to that while you run the scans I mentioned until you know it's clean.

Okay, thank you one more time! I am feeling much better about this now, because I know what to do and will be happy if we can get back to normal!!!
 

atrueidiot

Solid State Member
Messages
18
Location
USA
Hey, carnageX

As luck would have it, my dad's car got totally drowned during Hurricane Matthew and we lost power for a short while.

I had to postpone my device resets and securitization of our home network. But, in doing so, I also came across some new issues I thought I'd run by you for an opinion.

In another forum thread of mine (different site), someone mentioned the following:

Can a Router Cable/Wire be Affected or Infected by Malware? - General Security (Bleeping Computer website/forum)
When consumer routers are factory reset, it's all the settings that are reset to a default value. But the firmware (the programs) on the router is not reset.
So if you have an infected router that has been programmed with malicious firmware, then doing a factory reset will not remove the malware.

You could install the latest firmware to overwrite the malicious firmware, but since the firmware upgrade is almost always done by the running firmware, then sophisticated malicious firmware can tamper with the firmware upgrade and persist.

But if we are just talking about a compromised router where the DNS settings have been changed to point to a malicious DNS server (without malicious code running on the router), then a factory reset will also reset the DNS settings.

This guy seemed to say that there might be malware that even a reset button wouldn't get rid of in my Verizon Fios router. Would you concur with him? If so, do you know if anything can be done if there is such a thing as malware that would survive a reset?

I was wondering also if malware like that could exist on an iPAD, where resetting the iPAD wouldn't even get rid of it? Or, similarly, if malware existed that would actively prevent a reset itself (like somehow block you from doing it)?

If, yes, would it mean I'd have to throw away my router and/or iPAD and buy new ones?

Appreciate your thoughts as always! And thank you for your time!!

(This discussion has definitely gone much more complicated than I'd have ever imagined!!!)
 

carnageX

Private Joker,
Staff member
Messages
25,041
Location
South Dakota
Yikes, sorry to hear about you getting hit by Matthew - hopefully all is well with you. Fortunately I'm in the middle of the country, so I didn't have to be concerned.

While there are strains of malware that can infect firmware...those are MUCH less common - not usually something that you need to worry about.

What would be a good idea, is take note of the router's model # (should be on a sticker on the router somewhere), as well as log into the web GUI and look to see what version the firmware is. Within the past couple of years, there's been several router brands with certain versions of firmwares that are vulnerable to attacks (not usually the kind that attach to embedded firmware...but just make it so that attackers can snoop on the router & traffic directly.

If the router is one of the many that were/are vulnerable, updating the firmware is a good idea.

As for firmware level iPad malware...it would really only affect the flash storage (I haven't heard of malware that's specific to iPad firmware personally), but doing a reset that restores the entire device should take care of that. Either way, it wouldn't affect the iPad, but usually only computers that you plug the iPad into.
 

atrueidiot

Solid State Member
Messages
18
Location
USA
Yikes, sorry to hear about you getting hit by Matthew - hopefully all is well with you. Fortunately I'm in the middle of the country, so I didn't have to be concerned.

While there are strains of malware that can infect firmware...those are MUCH less common - not usually something that you need to worry about.

What would be a good idea, is take note of the router's model # (should be on a sticker on the router somewhere), as well as log into the web GUI and look to see what version the firmware is. Within the past couple of years, there's been several router brands with certain versions of firmwares that are vulnerable to attacks (not usually the kind that attach to embedded firmware...but just make it so that attackers can snoop on the router & traffic directly.

If the router is one of the many that were/are vulnerable, updating the firmware is a good idea.

As for firmware level iPad malware...it would really only affect the flash storage (I haven't heard of malware that's specific to iPad firmware personally), but doing a reset that restores the entire device should take care of that. Either way, it wouldn't affect the iPad, but usually only computers that you plug the iPad into.

Latest Update on Progress

Your last post was extremely informative to me and helpful as always, carnageX!

Appreciate it! And here is my current stats:

I jotted down my Verizon Fios' router make/model info:

Actiontec M1424WR Rev. I

(I think that's the capital letter "i" after "Rev." and not the number "1," but am not 100% sure. The reason I think it's the letter "I" and not the number one is both because of how it looks and from looking up similar models/makes of M1424WR. They all have "M1424WR" as the starting title, but end differently with Rev. ___. The blank is always - as far as I can tell - filled in by a letter. So, you'll see maybe, "Rev. E"..."Rev. "G"..."Rev. H," but never "Rev. 3" or "Rev. 7," etc.)

I also went to my local library and performed the iPAD wipe/erase from the link you recommended above. I wanted to say that prior to this wipe, the iPAD actually went from operating very slowly (like it had a virus) to completely normal/fast speeds a few days ago. That "normal" speed in the laptop lasted for about two days, before all of a sudden having a complete internet shutdown. I literally couldn't get the iPAD to even connect to the router anymore suddenly. It kept showing that spinning ball thing showing it was trying to connect. Sometimes, it would seem to work and I'd see a CHECK MARK next to the WiFi in the Settings section. I assumed the check mark meant I was connected. But then no web page would open, nor apps that required internet. It made me wonder if a hacker put something in my parents' iPAD that prevented it from connecting to our home router/internet.

When I got to the library, there seemed to be a similar problem for a short while, before I was able to get the wipe to work. The reason I had to connect to the internet for the wipe was because I needed to log out of iCloud (which was recommended on that erase/wipe link you posted), which requires you to be connected online to do so.

After about 10 minutes, I finally logged on to the library unencrypted WiFi and then quickly logged out of iCloud and logged off the internet again. And, lastly, I performed the wipe/erase (while logged off the internet).

After the wipe, in order to set up my iPAD again, I needed to log on to an internet connection. So, I logged on to the library's unencrypted WiFi. The set-up took about 10-15 minutes, in which I typed in what I wanted for:

-passwords
-security questions
-and an email associated with iCloud

Follow-up Questions

1.) Thanks to your helpful suggestion of the wipe/erase, the iPAD looks completely back to factory settings now! My only concern was that I was using the library's unencrypted WiFi when I was setting up the iPAD's settings. Do you think someone could have seen what I was doing on that unencrypted WiFi and have something they could hurt me with later? I only realized AFTER I used their unencrypted WiFi that they have an encrypted WiFi we can use!!! :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes: I was like, "Dohhhh!" But I had to leave to go home, so I didn't "redo" the whole wipe and re-setup of the iPAD on their encrypted WiFi. But, I could do it another time if I wanted to.

(After I set up the iPAD's new settings, I immediately logged off their WiFi altogether and for good, though. I went home afterwards.)

2.) I see that my router type M1424WR has had some malware issues in the past from a Google search. But, it's not 100% clear if it's my exact make/model. Some search results listed M1424WR without the Rev. ___ ending and others listed the Rev. ___ ending part, but not with an "I" (capital letter "i" (instead, it's a different letter).

Should I still assume the worse and that my model/make has been compromised before? If so, do you know how I can update my firmware? I read online that many routers do it automatically and you don't have to do anything. Should I just call Verizon Fios' customer service to see if there is a way to update it if it's not automatic?

3.) If the firmware isn't an automatic update type and I have to manually do it somehow, should I WAIT until it's updated BEFORE resetting it and connecting the iPAD and new laptop to it?

4.) Lastly, when resetting a router and changing the password, I saw online a weird distinction I wanted to ask you about.

On one site, they said you should change your router's password from the default, but make sure you're NOT changing the SSID and password info. That confused me. So, there are two logins and password types? :confused:

Which is the one that needs changing?

Massive, massive, massive thanks again, carnageX. I couldn't have done this stuff without you (and others online)!!!

With all this writing, maybe this thread will be of help to someone else in the future who has a similar problem. (Oh, and we're totally fine! Dad's car got flooded, b/c it wasn't up on the drive-way, but the water never flooded our house or cars on the drive-way. Just minor damage and short period of power outage! Everything else was okay!)
 
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