If there is one thing many of us should be worried about, it’s internet hackers. People can access all of our files from thousands of miles away, and most of us are pretty defenseless to stop them. One hacker is targeting people with weak security and leaving them with something surprising on their computers.
One problem with the increase in popularity of the internet is that some people don’t understand the risks it comes with. Hackers are a threat that we’re often warned about, but we don’t really know what to do to stop them. We can install security software on our machines, but is that really enough to stop someone, if they are determined enough, from accessing our information?
On a Russian blogging site, an anonymous user calling themselves “Alexey” was boasting about how they have hacked over 100,000 users already. They were not planning on stopping anytime soon as these computers were just too easy to access. The routers they have been targeting were manufactured by MikroTik.
A weakness in MikroTik’s routers meant that Alexey felt compelled to start hacking. The issue was that the routers were being hacked by others and infected with cryptocurrency mining scripts. What Alexey has been doing is accessing people’s routers and installing firewall rules that blocks anyone outside the local network of the user. That means that Alexey has been hacking into people’s routers to help protect them from other hackers.
Although it seems as though Alexey’s intentions are good, what they are doing is very much illegal. They are trying to protect people, but by accessing their equipment without consent, Alexey risks getting into trouble. It’s like Batman, some of the things he does to fight crime are against the law, but the police look the other way because he is doing them a favor. Only time will tell whether the authorities treat Alexey with the same kindness.
The solution for people
People using a MikroTik router have been given access to patches online, but the issue is they need to install it themselves. Alexey was just trying to help and even left a useful note in the comments section of their work, with a link to further assistance. A security researcher had discovered the vulnerability in the MikroTik routers to begin with, noting that over 420,000 households had been infected.
This was a real problem and something that Alexey felt needed dealing with, rather than the company’s solution of just offering a patch. Alexey made those user’s information and data safer but at the risk of incriminating themselves. Fighting fire with fire might give the best results, but at what cost?
Taking the law into your own hands is never the answer, but what Alexey has provided was extra security to those hacked. Alexey felt as though they needed to stand up for what they believed in and was definitely happy to tell the people of the internet the good deed they had done.