Hackers hijacking routers and blackmailing firms to regain access

A Cisco engineer is warning of scams by hackers who hijack routers and blackmail companies to regain access.

Recounting incidents he heard at Black Hat 2008 in Washington D.C. last month, Brian Wilson, a.k.a Slimjim100 blogger, wrote: "I have heard of reports where this is happened to a large multi-site company and they where blackmailed for money to get access back to there routers ... In the case of this reported company,  the cost of sending people out to password recover the routers was a lot more than the blackmailer's offer so the company paid them and then locked down the devices after they regained access." He says the incident could have been avoided using Access Control Lists and having an understanding of how the network is designed. Wilson also advises companies that have had their routers compromised in this way to reload IOS and review configs once they regain access as hackers could load non-Cisco patches to the network OS.

Read more about this story in the Brad Reese on Cisco blog.

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