A router transforms into a rogue router if cyber criminals hijack it to redirect data to a mal intended manually adjusted location, essentially, intercepting traffic and diverting it away from its valid destination. This type of cyber attack is known as BGP Hijacking DDoS, and it is known as a form of an application layer DDoS attack.
For this type of cyberattack, a comprehensive malware check application on the sending or receiving devices will not help. This type of cyber attack is not related to threats such as malware and viruses and occurs after your data leaves your endpoint devices such as laptops, desktops or smartphones, and starts traveling from router to router over the web.
However, if this application includes a VPN solution, it will help protect your data by consistently encrypting it if it happens to intersect with a rogue router in cyberspace.
First, let’s go over what a router is, talk more about how a router is forced to become a rogue, spying, malrouter, and how encryption can help protect your private data from such an attack.
In simple terms, as its name implies, a router routes data; essentially, when you send a message over the internet, say a picture to someone over a messaging application such as WhatsApp, the data has to travel over several routers before it reaches its intended recipient.
Quickly Viewing Your Data’s Journey on Windows
Suppose you are a Windows user and want to see, for example, the path and its respective routers for a specific communications scenario such as reaching usatoday.com. In that case, you can: open a DOS command prompt by searching for the word run on the windows main search and in the run dialogue type in cmd ad then click on OK or press enter.
Once in the command prompt, type in tracert usatoday.com and then press enter.
The results should tell you how many hops it took to reach usatoday.com from your device, the network address of those hops or routers, which will be presented in the respective order of the route.
Types of Routers
1. Core Router
2. Edge Router
3. Distribution Router
4. Wireless Router
5. Virtual Router
Since routers constantly need to communicate with each other, they need protocols or a common language to communicate with each other. Let’s list a few routing protocols so you can gain more familiarity in the area:
1. Exterior Gateway Protocol (EGP)
2. Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP)
3. Border Gateway Protocol (BGP)
4. Routing Information Protocol (RIP)
5. Interior Gateway Protocol (IGRP)
6. Open Shortest Path First (OSPF)
7. Intermediate System-to-Intermediate System (IS-IS)
BGP Hijacking DDoS Attacks Explained
As coined in this article, a rogue router is used for BGP hijacking DDoS attacks; the BGP or Border Gateway Protocol gets network prefixes to know where the data should be routed to. A cyber attacker impersonates a legitimate network prefix causing the data to be routed to the cybercriminal or another location of interest and not its intended destination.
Many different motives can be behind such an attack, such as a man-in-the-middle attack redirecting internet traffic to a fake site or simply trying to intercept and view confidential information, which could be of value for many different reasons.
Steps You Can Take to Protect Yourself
There is not much you can do; you are not a large Telco running these high-demand devices. However, by encrypting your most crucial documents, such as in Office 365 documents with a password and using a VPN client that always encrypts your data, you will ensure that it will not be possible to use if your data gets into the wrong hands.