Did Malware or Hackers Infect My Entire Household - Need Help

atrueidiot

Solid State Member
Messages
18
Location
USA
Yeah - absolute best!

I would thumbs up your post if I could.

I'm sure I write overly long stuff, so to have the patience and technical skills to help someone like me is amazing!!
 

carnageX

Private Joker,
Staff member
Messages
25,045
Location
South Dakota
Answers in bold again.

*snip*

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.)
Possible? Of course. Depends if somebody was there sniffing the traffic though - no real way to tell. However, you should be reasonably safe if the traffic you were going through was SSL on the site(s) and such. I'm assuming that logging in through an iPad into iCloud and such was using SSL.

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?
Yes, I would call VZW and see if there is an updated firmware version for your router.

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?
Would be a good idea.

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?
Well really both of them.

The router password is the password you use to actually log into the router through the web GUI to change it's settings.

The SSID password is the password that your devices use to connect to the router in order to access the internet.

Also, one other thing to check, is to make sure that WPS is DISABLED. WPS is an "easy connect" thing, but has vulnerabilities that make it easier to break into routers (if you're within range of the wifi network, that is).


Massive, massive, massive thanks again, carnageX. I couldn't have done this stuff without you (and others online)!!!
No problem - glad to help

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!)
Good to hear!

@atrueidiot, Carnage is a very smart guy and is just as nice as he is smart :)
Thank you, chara.

Yeah - absolute best!

I would thumbs up your post if I could.

I'm sure I write overly long stuff, so to have the patience and technical skills to help someone like me is amazing!!

Well my background is primarily in IT support roles...so I had to be good at that ;). No longer in IT support though - my IT support nowadays is family, and this forum.
 

atrueidiot

Solid State Member
Messages
18
Location
USA

atrueidiot

Solid State Member
Messages
18
Location
USA
In it, the forum advice lists:

Why isn't a factory reset sufficient?
Reinstalling the firmware, or the right way to do it
Programming the flash chip, but seriously just buy a new device


Their advice seems to say that updating the firmware may not work to remove malware (if I'm reading correctly) and that you have to reinstall the firmware, which looks very difficult.

It seems they are saying that buying a new router would be easiest. CarnageX, I told my parents about the research I'm doing and they've been extremely upset and wondering why it's taking so long and have threatened to just reconnect anyways if I don't get it fixed soon my way. At this point, I honestly wouldn't mind just buying a new router to save time/energy.

1.)
To confirm, would buying a new router pretty much be a foolproof way of re-establishing my network safely again? I'm okay with that if it saves time (I'm losing out a lot of valuable internet time at home needed for school work and other things).

2.) We also have 2 WiFi capable TVs in the house connected to our 2 Chromecast units (I mentioned earlier). Any possibility our TVs are infected to and how should that situation be handled.

3.) Second to last question: our Verizon Fios Actiontec router connects to a white box in the garage. I'm assuming that white box is called a modem. Verizon installed the router and that white box when we bought Fios. My question here is whether the router (with malware) could have infected the modem/white box in the garage too and what to do?

4.) Absolutely last question:
We also have a device called "Unblock Tech" that was on our network. It is attached to the router physically by ethernet cable. I didn't mention this earlier, because it's very weird and I wanted to just get my basic story across. But, it's a device that utilizes the router and allows my parents to watch foreign (Chinese) movies/shows. (Amazon.com has them.) Any idea if that could be infected too and what steps should be taken?

WHEW! Hopefully, this will be the last series of questions!
 

carnageX

Private Joker,
Staff member
Messages
25,045
Location
South Dakota
Responses in bold.

In it, the forum advice lists:

Why isn't a factory reset sufficient?
Reinstalling the firmware, or the right way to do it
Programming the flash chip, but seriously just buy a new device

Their advice seems to say that updating the firmware may not work to remove malware (if I'm reading correctly) and that you have to reinstall the firmware, which looks very difficult.

It seems they are saying that buying a new router would be easiest. CarnageX, I told my parents about the research I'm doing and they've been extremely upset and wondering why it's taking so long and have threatened to just reconnect anyways if I don't get it fixed soon my way. At this point, I honestly wouldn't mind just buying a new router to save time/energy.
Correct, this would be the easiest. Up to you if you want to spend the money on purchasing a new router.

1.)
To confirm, would buying a new router pretty much be a foolproof way of re-establishing my network safely again? I'm okay with that if it saves time (I'm losing out a lot of valuable internet time at home needed for school work and other things).
Yes

2.) We also have 2 WiFi capable TVs in the house connected to our 2 Chromecast units (I mentioned earlier). Any possibility our TVs are infected to and how should that situation be handled.
Not likely

3.) Second to last question: our Verizon Fios Actiontec router connects to a white box in the garage. I'm assuming that white box is called a modem. Verizon installed the router and that white box when we bought Fios. My question here is whether the router (with malware) could have infected the modem/white box in the garage too and what to do?
Possible as well, but all depends on if it has common vulnerabilities in the firmware. I'd say no, though.

4.) Absolutely last question:
We also have a device called "Unblock Tech" that was on our network. It is attached to the router physically by ethernet cable. I didn't mention this earlier, because it's very weird and I wanted to just get my basic story across. But, it's a device that utilizes the router and allows my parents to watch foreign (Chinese) movies/shows. (Amazon.com has them.) Any idea if that could be infected too and what steps should be taken?
This would have been good to point out in the beginning, actually ;).

Are you sure THIS device isn't causing the issues? Have you tried unplugging it and making sure everything works fine, and no more issues pop up?


WHEW! Hopefully, this will be the last series of questions!
 

atrueidiot

Solid State Member
Messages
18
Location
USA
Oh boy! lol. It would be sad if it was really a problem with UnBlock Tech all along. :D

I'm not sure what to say now. hahaha. Already have a new laptop and reset iPAD. One thing I do know is that UnBlock Tech worked fine. My parents still were able to watch foreign films/tv shows.

It was my laptop that died first, followed by their iPAD (slowing down speed to the point of being unusable and then finally not being able to log onto the internet at all). The only thing is, we've had UnBlock Tech and both computers (laptop and iPAD) for a few years and have never had this happen (where the two computers would go super super super slow.

I don't know if UnBlock Tech was the culprit or not and/or if it has malware in it too. I think it has a reset button. But I also thought I'd try to set up a guest network if I did everything we talked about and first set up my new clean network for computing. Then I'd place UnBlock Tech on that guest network to isolate it from our stuff. Hopefully that would prevent potential malware on UB Tech from reach our new, clean stuff.

I'm gonna talk to my mom and dad tomorrow and they will be the one to decide on whether to buy the new router or not. I work part-time and make enough to buy it too if need be. Honestly, I'm hoping we do that, because the time I spend researching this is too draining lol!

I'll update with what happens. But, you have my undying gratitude until then!
 
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