F-Secure Router Checker Scans for Malicious DNS Activity

Finnish security firm F-Secure has launched a new tool designed to make using the web that little bit safer by checking router settings for tell-tale signs they may have been interfered with by cyber-criminals.

Router Checker is marketed as a hassle-free, one-click tool to scan your internet settings and check for anything unusual which may indicate DNS hijacking or other malicious activity.

Cyber-criminals are growing increasingly fond of this tactic as a means to covertly redirect users to phishing sites or web pages loaded with adware or malware, F-Secure said.

Over 300,000 home or office routers were found with altered settings in 2014, according to the vendor.

With each router potentially serving multiple computers, mobile and other devices, it represents a good return on investment for the cyber-criminals – especially as the attacks usually go unnoticed by the users themselves.

“Attacks that target internet settings often go unnoticed because they don’t really have obvious symptoms for people to pick up on. People will suddenly see more ads or they’ll be misdirected to a dangerous website that looks and feels safe,” said F-Secure security adviser Sean Sullivan in a statement.

“This makes diagnosing these problems important, and Router Checker is all about making the diagnosis accessible and easy so that people don’t have to worry.”

An F-Secure spokesperson confirmed to Infosecurity that the tool is aimed primarily at home and small business users. Typically, these users might not have the technical knowledge or in-house resource to address the problem on their own.

The launch comes around a year after F-Secure released a Dropbox-style sync and share service designed to keep their data away from the prying eyes of cyber-criminals and state-sponsored spooks.

Also last year the firm launched Freedome, a privacy-enhancing VPN service.

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