Asus simplifies router configuration to protect external hard drives

The company is updating unsecure default settings that left files accessible over the Internet

Asus is now distributing a firmware update that will change the default security settings on its broadband routers after files on thousands of external hard drives were found easily accessible over the Internet.

The problem was reported last week and stems from how Asus' routers are configured. Access to an external hard drive that's been attached to a router's USB port via FTP can be activated manually or by using a wizard, but both leave the router open by default.

As a result, the files of users in Europe and the U.S. were found accessible via the Internet, according to industry experts and tests conducted by PC World Norway and TechWorld Sweden.

After being questioned about the problem, Asus decided to develop a firmware update to fix the issue, which is now being distributed via its website and the directly from the router user interface.

"The update changes the default security setting from unlimited to limited access rights when setting up a FTP server. This change will ensure that the end user doesn't leave their FTP server unprotected by mistake and also make it easier to understand the implications of the different security options," the company said in a statement.

There is now a warning that it's possible to access files via FTP without entering a password when a user has chosen the limitless access setting, according to Asus.

The update has already been released for the RT-AC68U router, and will this week also become available for the RT-AC56U, RT-AC66U, RT-N66U and RT-N16 routers. Remaining routers will be updated next week, Asus said.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags networking hardwaresecurityNetworkingroutersAccess control and authenticationwirelessAsustek ComputerWLANs / Wi-Fi

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?