Can Malware Exist Such That it Prevents Resetting a Router or iPAD?

atrueidiot

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Does malware exist that would prevent you from resetting an iPAD or router (which you assume or have proven has malware on them)?

I was told that resetting a router and/or iPAD to factory default settings would clear malware. But, could a certain type of malware prevent you from resetting or make it so that even a reset didn't clear the malware?

Thanks for your input.
 

Ralston18

Dignified
Moderator
If there was a corrupted or infected "firmware" update on the device then a factory reset would just go back to a compromised state.

Many ISPs use branded routers with customized firmware. Therefore, it seems to me, that malware could be introduced in that manner.



 

atrueidiot

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Thanks for the response, Ralston18.

If my router was one of those that had a corrupted/infected firmware update and was unable to be reset to a safe state, then what would the solution be?

Throw it away and buy a new router? Would that work? Or any other options?

Thank you very much for your help!
 

Ralston18

Dignified
Moderator
What make and model is your router?

Visit the manufacturer's website and see if there is a newer firmware version available. Or otherwise check their FAQs and Forums.

And some router make and models can be flashed with DD-WRT to establish an entirely new and more configurable router.

Can be a tricky process but if you follow the process carefully you should be okay with the premise being DD-WRT supports your current router.

No need to throw away the router. You still have options.
 

atrueidiot

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Actiontec M1424WR Rev. I
(router)

Verizon Fios
(internet provider)
 

atrueidiot

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Oct 2, 2016
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Actiontec M1424WR Rev. I
(router)

Verizon Fios
(internet service)

I'll be honest, if a new router would fix my problem and save me three or more days worth of time researching this stuff, me and my parents would be HAPPY to spend $150 bucks on it. lol They are super mad right now, b/c we have no home internet.
 

Ralston18

Dignified
Moderator
Do you own or rent the modem?

Whoever has admin rights to the router should be able to go into the router and check the firmware version.

If an older version is found then that admin person should try to flash/update the firmware per the User Guide/Manual.

However, if the router is "branded" and thus provided via your ISP (Verizon) then Verizon may have the appropriate and applicable firmware update.

They may want to provide you with a different router.....

In any case start by giving Verizon a call. Report that you have no home internet. Verizon should be able to run some diagnostics and possibly set things right again. From what some friends have been telling me Verizon support is not at all good right now.

Still start there and see what turns up.

 

atrueidiot

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I am not very literate re: computers. When you asked if I owned or rented the modem, did you mean the router?

If not, I'm not sure what you mean by modem.

My router can with buying Verizon Fios. There's a big box in my garage that Verizon installed as well. I bought none of that on my own, but instead just bought Verizon Fios and Verizon installed everything that I have.

Hope that makes sense.

I'll call Verizon first thing tomorrow morning to ask what can be done. If Verizon is responsible for the firmware updates, would it just be an automatic thing that happens over the internet or would it be a manual thing where a human person has to do a bunch of stuff to the physical router?

One last question: that box thing in my garage...could that have malware too???
 

Ralston18

Dignified
Moderator
The box in the garage is most likely a NID (Network Interface Device) or an ONT (Optical Network Terminal).

More explanation here:

https://www.verizon.com/support/residential/phone/homephone/general+support/troubleshooting+procedures/locate+the+source+of+the+problem/98546.htm

Generally Verizon (or any service provider) is responsible for any lines, cables, pipes, etc. up to your house. After the "box" everything else (wiring, connections, outlets, etc.) is considered to be the responsibility of resident. However you may be able to purchase a maintenance plan whereby the service provider will make any repairs or changes that become necessary. Varies and lots of fine print in the agreements.

For internet service you may have a modem and a router or a combination modem/router. As I read your post you are renting the applicable device from Verizon. If you look at it carefully there is probably a make and model number on it somewhere.

This link provides more information:

http://www.approvedmodems.com/verizon.html

Anyway I would suspect a corrupted or buggy firmware installation more than a direct malware infection with respect to your "box thing".

Hopefully the firmware upgrade will be automatic. However, the target device may be set to only update if manually done. That allows the end users some control over when that happens. A power loss during a firmware upgrade can permanently ruin (or "brick") a device.

Give Verizon a call as you posted. Explain to them what specific problem or problems you are having. They should be able to run some tests from their end and determine the status of the device.
 

atrueidiot

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@Ralston18

Called Verizon and they said my router was up and running with no problems that they could detect. But that was only in regards to speed - not possible router/modem malware.

They did give me a separate phone number for support for the router, so I will need to call them (but haven't been able to get through yet). Not clear if that router support number would help me deal with malware or not...we'll see.

Lastly, I figured it my "box" is indeed an ONT (Optical Network Terminal) and I was wrong. It's OUTSIDE the house. The box INSIDE my garage is just the back-up battery unit to the ONT (outside the garage) in case of a power failure.

Regarding an ONT, any idea if that type of thing can be malware infected? I've heard of router/modem infections, but don't know anything about the possibility of an ONT malware infection.

Thanks one last time!!!
 

USAFRet

Splendid
Moderator
What leads you to suspect one or more of those devices have a virus or other malware?

This is HIGHLY unlikely.


The "ONT" is actually two parts.
The part outside. The fiber line comes into this box. That signal is then converted into coax and/or ethernet.
Then there is the box inside. This also holds the battery backup, and the power connection.
 

atrueidiot

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http://www.techist.com/forums/f51/did-malware-hackers-infect-my-entire-household-need-help-278311/

My "story" is above. It was a bunch of things actually. Multiple devices slowing down and then a blocked internet connection the iPAD. ...along with events that could have allowed a hacker or malware into my network (basically a porn site visit and not changing my router's default password).
 

USAFRet

Splendid
Moderator


OK, yes.
You had a similar thread here.

Again, it is HIGHLY unlikely that the router firmware has been compromised.
Router settings? Quite possibly.

1. Return the router to factory spec....reset it from the little button on the back.
2. All your devices is a different issue.
Take them ALL offline, and clean however necessary. Remove any malware, wipe and reinstall if necessary.
Do not allow anything to connect to the LAN until it is known clean.

But if you DO want to change routers, I highly suggest the Quantum Gateway G1100 from Verizon.

I have one, and it made a major difference in WiFi abilities.
 

atrueidiot

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I'll do a price comparison USAFRet. Thanks for the recommendation!

By the way, have you ever experienced a hack or malware with your Verizon home internet?
 

USAFRet

Splendid
Moderator


Never. Not once. Nor have I heard of anyone else having an issue like that.

I got my G1100 for $100, and they simply rolled the price into 3 monthly Verizon bills.
So 3 months of an extra $33.
 

atrueidiot

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Oct 2, 2016
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Oh wait, do you use Fios?

We have Fios and our router was the Actiontec MI424WR Rev. I. It's about $129.00, which is more than yours.

Would that mean my router was better?

Granted it's a few years old when we got it.
 

USAFRet

Splendid
Moderator
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