Can an ONT (Optical Network Terminal) Be Infected with Malware

atrueidiot

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Oct 2, 2016
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Hi everyone,

After posting my "story" on several of the big online computer forums, I've nailed down some step-by-step procedures I must do to clean up, re-setup, and protect my home network from future possible malware & hackers.

One last question I have before I fix things and hopefully never have to come back here :pt1cable: is whether or not a device called the ONT (Optical Network Terminal) that's part of my Verizon Fios service can be infected with malware too?

It's this white box outside my garage that was installed the day VZ Fios was. There's a mirror box inside the garage, which is the back-up battery to that white box outside the garage. Anyhow, it's called an ONT.

I have learned that your router and modem can both be infected with malware (the type that is super malicious and changes the firmware in them). But does anyone know if an ONT can be infected with malware too?

And, if so, what can be done?

Thanks to everyone one final time.

-the super idiot
 

atrueidiot

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Thx for the response, 13.

Do you think it's a super hassle to hack or write malware for an ONT? Like more of a hassle than to do it for normal iPADs, routers, and PCs? Why would it be harder? Is it just because an ONT is less common?

I'm not sure how popular Verizon Fios is, but I know Verizon is popular in general. I would guess millions of people use Fios and have an ONT installed in their house somewhere.

Any suggestions for what to do if an ONT actually is infected or how to even tell if it is?

Thanks!!
 

13thmonkey

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There are millions of ipads, they are designed to run code and they are designed to access hot spots etc.

By comparison, the ONT box is designed to pass traffic (not run the code) and is connected to a secure system (the optical cable network).

So in order to get put malware on the ONT you'd have first of all get access to the ONT (not a trivial task). This makes it fundamentally safe.

If however you have annoyed the NSA then yes it can be done, otherwise there are better ways.
 

atrueidiot

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lol. Just covering all my bases! Had to ask.

Never again shall I visit a porn site.

 

atrueidiot

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That was very helpful. Thanks for the explanation. I feel a bit safer that my ONT very likely isn't infected now. Although, I wonder if it WERE, how could someone tell?
 

13thmonkey

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YOU probably couldn't, someone who knew precisely what the router was meant to do might be able to tell, but it would be forensic examination, and even then if someone like the Chinese intelligence were doing it they probably couldn't spot it. At that point you'd may as well assume that you've got someone physically following you, so don't worry about it, what's the worst that they could do?
 

atrueidiot

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lol. okay. So, I'll just take it as a super super super rarity.

What's the worse they could do? Steal me or my parents' info., rob our bank accounts blind, steal our identity, ruin our lives, etc.?? :(
 

USAFRet

Splendid
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Use your devices as part of a botnet.
However...your **** activities did not cause the ONT to become infected.

Either the vulnerability already existed, or nothing happened to it/with it.
 
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