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Have you been hacked by “drive-by pharming?”

Drive-by pharming is a new phrase that means your wireless network or computer has been hacked by someone who scouts out vulnerable wireless connections.  Now, Symantec and Indiana University has performed a study finding that it is possible for these drive-by pharmers to access your info by logging into your wireless router.  No cases have found this to happen yet, but your wireless computer can be hacked if your wireless router’s username and password is discovered.

The easiest way to prevent such an attack is to change the default username and password of your wireless router.  Your router comes preconfigured usually to for username and “admin” for password.  Possible drive-by pharmers can easily guess this info and then take an extra step to view your files and possibly credit card info.  No downloads or attachments need to be opened by you.  It is enough to have access to the Internet and you may be sharing your info with someone else.

Here’s how to prevent drive-by pharmers:

Follow the below steps to make sure your wireless router’s username and password are not using the default out-of-the box info:

1.  Go to any web browser and enter the IP address associated with your router’s web interface.  For example, if you have a Linksys router, you need to type in 192.168.1.1 and click Enter.  Then, this will bring you to the username and password page.

Here is a list of the most popular wireless routers along with the IP address you need to enter to access your router.

Linksys:  192.168.1.1        DLink / Netgear: 192.168.0.1         Belkin:  192.168.2.1

If you have another type of router, you may find its IP address by performing a Google search and entering the manufacturer name and “wireless IP 192.168.”

2.  Once you are at the username and password page, you’ll need to enter a username and password.

Linksys: username:   password:  admin DLink:  username:  admin  password:  admin 

Netgear: username: admin  password: admin or 1234  Belkin:  username & password:

If you are able to enter your router with the above defaults, you’ll need to change the username and password by going to the “Password” or “Setup” page.  If you are not able to change them, then that means your settings have been changed and you are protected against possible drive-by pharmers.

It is wise to document your new username and password, if changed, and place it on the back of your router or another secure place.  Chances are your potential wireless hacker is not within your home or office so keeping your information in a secure location on-site is a good idea.

Changing your router’s username and password is a good way to prevent drive-by pharming as well as ensuring your network is secure from any malicious hacking activity.

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