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Can a Router be "Hijacked"?

Last response: in Networking
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August 9, 2006 11:37:07 PM

So here's the deal:

I tried to help out this lady with her wireless network. Her son bought a WRT54G router from Linksys (don't know the version...). Her son's desktop PC connects to the router and can access the internet. Her laptop can connect to the router, but CANNOT access the internet. She can, however, connect to another (unsecured) network from a neighbor, and access the internet, so a wireless problem on the laptop's end is doubtful.

Her current network right now is unsecured. Every time I tried to access the router via the address (192.168.1.1) on the laptop, I was asked for a username and password. The default password (admin) does NOT work. No one has made a password for it. Every time I tried to access the address via the desktop PC, I ended up with a "page unable to be displayed message", not even a password prompt. I even tried the software, and I can't install it again since it asks for a password (I've tried a blank, admin, linksys, etc.) Her son called Linksys tech support, but they didn't help. They plan to return the router to Bestbuy, but any ideas on what happened?

Thanks

More about : router hijacked

August 10, 2006 12:48:52 AM

If the network is unsecure and nobody set a password on the router then anybody can connect to the router with the default password and configure it any way they like. Can't you just use the reset button to reset the router to defaults?
August 10, 2006 1:36:27 AM

I may try that. When it comes to networks, I'm a noob. I think the whole password problem threw me off.
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August 10, 2006 12:53:11 PM

If Linksys tech support couldn't tell you to try that.... man, they must be stocking that place with talking monkeys or something!
August 10, 2006 7:00:19 PM

Are you sure you are connecting to the right IP ??? Check to see what your Gateway IP is and use it with http://ipaddress. If you did not add "http://" you proably did a search and not a direct connect.
August 10, 2006 9:19:36 PM

Quote:
Are you sure you are connecting to the right IP ??? Check to see what your Gateway IP is and use it with http://ipaddress.

Well, I', pretty sure I tried that. If not, it seems that IE automatically enters it as such (or at least it says "finding http://etc..." when I just type in the IP address).

Quote:
If Linksys tech support couldn't tell you to try that.... man, they must be stocking that place with talking monkeys or something!

lol. I guess so

Either way, I had an easier time using my 2Wire gateway and the software disc than I did Linksys' software.

EDIT: Typo
August 10, 2006 11:42:16 PM

It is likely that your router is 'pre-owned' Someone bought the thing from bestbuy, configured it and then returned it... bestbuy likely re-shrink wrapped it. :x

The previous owner likely set a password and configured wireless security.

The other possibilty is that some routers need to be configured by the wired network ports, this was thought to be better than configuring over the air.

Do a reset to factory defaults, and try again. If that doesn't work then bestbuy has an excellent return policy.

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Can you see the box with 'netstumbler'?
August 10, 2006 11:54:25 PM

Like JJ said it may have been a return, maybe because it didn't work right. Like it's acting up now. If you can not reset the unit and access it via a lan port return it as defective, so maybe they will take it off the shelf. Make sure the new one is a version 4 or switch to something else.
August 11, 2006 1:04:39 AM

Well that's interesting. Actually, it looks to be configured wirelessly, as her son's setup is wireless. However, it seems to work on his PC only so far... I'll tell him to reset the unit and reconfigure it via a LAN cable and see what happens.

Thanks for the insight into this issue.
August 15, 2006 9:02:38 PM

From my point of view i would say the existence of a password when trying to connect to the router indicates that the router has been pre configured with a password , you need to reset it back to its factory default settings(Linksys should be able to provide info on that) secondly it is possible that the desktop is not connecting to the internet via the router , for you to be able to access the internet via the router, you will need certain configuration information from your Internt service provider to enable the router pass and recieve internet traffic( and there was no mention of that so i am assuming its not been configured), so its likely the PC is connecting via ADSL modem through a USB port.
August 15, 2006 10:00:03 PM

Well, I'm not entirely certain of all the variables. However, as mentioned before, her son talked to Linksys tech support; they told him to type in the default password (admin), which didn't work. He hasn't tried via a LAN cable though, so maybe that will work, maybe it won't

Either way, I think they'll be returing it soon enough.

Thanks for all the responses.
August 16, 2006 4:45:39 PM

from what i can see in your setup there. the router is already configured.but what you need to do there is setup the wireless settings properly.change the ssid and enabled wep or wpa to ensure wireless security.and then changed the routers password.and reset the routers to factory default. :wink:
August 16, 2006 5:51:24 PM

Only problem is we can't figure out the password that would enable us to change the wireless settings... in which case, I don't think they're going to hassle with it anymore and they might return it.
August 16, 2006 11:31:47 PM

As suggested multiple times in this thread, a reset to defaults would solve the problem. You can find out how to do it by calling Linksys or downloading the manual. You usually have to hold the reset button down for several seconds.
September 7, 2006 1:41:46 AM

The password is not a problem - JUST RESET the router.

To reset, look for a small (pen tip size) button, it may say "reset" by it. Look in the manual to find it, if you have trouble. Using a pen, hold the button down for about half a minute (to be safe - less will do it). Connect a computer via a wire to the router, plug the router in (for power), and access the routers configuration page. Now try using the default password - if it doesn't work, you did something wrong or it's defective.
September 9, 2006 2:21:09 AM

when a wireless computer shows itself as connected to the router, but there is no access to the internet or the router, it is a good idea to check what IP address has been assigned to the computer. Sometimes when a wireless computer detects a router but is not being assigned an IP address by the router, it goes through a process of auto assigning an address. So, even though the computer is detecting a connection with the router it cannot actually function on the network. When this happens it is necessary to release the address that has been assigned and then renew an address. In order to see what address the computer has been assigned, click START, then click, RUN, then type "cmd" (for a Win 2K/XP PC) or "command" (for a Win 98 PC), then type "ipconfig" and take a look at what IP address has been assigned to the computer. If the address has been auto assigned, it will say so next to the IP address. If this has occured and you don't know how to release and renew an address, while still at the command prompt, you can type "ipconfig /?" to see what the commands are for releasing and renewing. Or, you can reboot the computer.
September 9, 2006 6:31:11 PM

Thanks to everyone who replied. Although they returned it before they wanted me to help them (they wanted it working asap), I plan to use all this info for future reference.
September 10, 2006 6:08:22 AM

The Linksys wireless routers (among others probably) come with HijackMe (tm) enabled. They're the best-selling wireless routers, come with wireless enabled and unsecured, and almost everyone knows the default password.

It's so tempting when you see one of these unsecured locally to log on to it and set a password -- even if just to delay the next such person from doing something more intrusive.

So if you're deploying such a router with wireless, set it up for WPA/WPA2 security with a long randomized passkey and change the ssid from the default "Linksys", or better yet -- just turn off the wireless.
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