Netgear Router Exploit Announced; Netgear Router Acting Funny
December 29, 2016 8:13 AM   Subscribe

Our Netgear R8000 will not stay connected to the internet. Rebooting either the modem or the router individually will not fix the problem, but rebooting both simultaneously will. It'll stay connected for a few hours, then disconnect again. After poking around, I saw the news about the command injection exploit. I can't possibly think of how my partner or I would have clicked on a malicious link, but maybe? On the off-chance that we got hacked, would going to an open source firmware (i.e., DD-WRT) fix any damage that was potentially done, or is there such a thing as a rootkit for a router that could potentially leave it permanently compromised?

I've already installed Netgear's patched firmware that is supposed to fix the flaw, but the issues still stand.
posted by hwyengr to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
Installing dd-wrt will *probably* fix your issue. It's technically possible to install a rootkit which would persist after flashing new firmware but it's very unlikely this would be the case in this particular situation.
posted by signalnine at 8:23 AM on December 29, 2016

That just sounds like a router going bad to me. How old is it?

DD-WRT would get rid of the hacking if it did get hacked, but I'm doubtful you got hacked.

If it were me I'd just replace it with a cheap TP-Link router. I've installed these for a few different people now, and they seem to perform range-wise much better than routers that cost hundreds of dollars.
posted by gregr at 9:50 AM on December 29, 2016 [1 favorite]

Have you tried resetting to the factory defaults, and then patching the firmware? This could fix a lot of different problems your router might be experiencing.

If doing that doesn't help, call their tech support.

If that doesn't work, then I would try installing dd-wrt (or you can skip to this step if you really want to.) But I wouldn't try to install dd-wrt until you've talked with their tech support. You always have the off chance that Netgear might do something nice like replace a router that's failed, but they definitely won't do that if you've installed 3rd party firmware already.
posted by mayonnaises at 10:16 AM on December 29, 2016

My last Netgear collected dust and dog fur, and periodically had to be blown out with a can of compressed air. Otherwise it would overheat and connections would get flaky. But definitely get your firmware up to date.
posted by dws at 4:43 PM on December 29, 2016

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