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Enter your email below to get exclusive access to our best articles and tips before everybody else. A security researcher recently discovered a backdoor in many D-Link routers, allowing anyone to access the router without knowing the username or password. Like our operating systems, web browsers, and every other piece of software we use, router software isn’t perfect.
If someone gains access to your Wi-Fi network, they could attempt to tamper with your router — or just do other bad things like snoop on your local file shares or use your connection to downloaded copyrighted content and get you in trouble.
Even if you changed your router’s password, it would be theoretically possible for a website to use your logged-in session to access your router and modify its settings. If you’re really worried about security, you could also install a third-party firmware such as DD-WRT or OpenWRT. HTG, you didn't elaborate on the specific vulnerability - which is the backdoor purposely placed in the D-Link firmware present on many on D-Link routers. I had someone that was hacking my router wireless password and stealing massive amounts of bandwidth.
How can they break into the router to get a MAC address that is allowed to connect if they can't connect in the first place?
Since wireless is transmitted in the air, and not ONLY to the target computer, the data packets can be sniffed with any easily-available packet sniffer (Wireshark and tcpdump tend to be the most favored). So while they couldn't connect without the information, they can easily see the packets as they're transmitted, even if it's in encrypted form. It's very easy to brick a router while trying to install alternative firmware, especially when the installation method requires a two-step install. It's possible they were exploiting a bug in WPS (WiFi Protected Setup) which allows an attacker to join your network without foreknowledge of the PSK.
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This is about more than just enabling Wi-Fi encryption and not hosting an open Wi-Fi network. Even if you set a username and password, if you have a D-Link router affected by this vulnerability, anyone would be able to log in without any credentials. This is pretty simple: Set it to use WPA2 encryption and use a reasonably secure passphrase.
Tens of millions of consumer routers respond to UPnP requests from the Internet, allowing attackers on the Internet to remotely configure your router. A router with such an XSS flaw could be controlled by a malicious web page, allowing the web page to configure settings while you’re logged in. With remote administration enabled, this allows anyone with a specifically-set browser agent string to override the credentials check. I tried changing the password to something really complicated and they were still able to get in. A proper hacker would break into your filtering system, get a MAC, and suddenly he's connected. The packet has to have both the source and the destination mac address in clear text, otherwise, each computer wouldn't know which packets to process. However, I'd be a little surprised if an attacker who could exploit WPS would actually have been thwarted by your MAC address filter. Your client devices are always broadcasting their MAC addresses over the air and in the clear while they're connected. While this might help to protect you while nobody's using the network, the SSID will still be broadcast in the clear (along with the MAC addresses) whenever there is network activity. The last of those may be tricky, as some out-of-the-box firmwares make it difficult or impossible to completely disable certain functions. If you have remote access disabled, you’d be safe from people remotely accessing your router and tampering with it. Router manufacturers may release firmware updates that fix such security holes, although they quickly discontinue support for most routers and move on to the next models.
Flash applets in your browser could use UPnP to open ports, making your computer more vulnerable.

If your router is using its default username and password, it would be easy for the malicious web page to gain access.
If the router itself were vulnerable and some sort of malicious script in your web browser attempted to exploit a cross site scripting vulnerability, accessing known-vulnerable routers at their local IP address and tampering with them, the attack would fail.
The agent string is "‘xmlset_roodkcableoj28840ybtide" ("edit by 04882 joel backdoor" in reverse). It may also have been someone who has access (legitimate or otherwise) to an authorized device, and was just copying the key over to another device whenever it got changed.
Once an attacker sees a client who is actively communicating with your router, they can just configure their system to use that client's MAC address to connect. Turning off SSID broadcast actually requires you to weaken the security posture of your client devices to be able to connect them - they will need to be configured so that they will always be looking for (and advertising the SSID of) your network whenever they're turned on, thereby giving attackers a chance to trick them into connecting to a fake AP with your SSID. That's where third-party firmwares can be a great help, so you don't have to go out and buy a new router to do what you should be able to do with your existing one. This is definitely something you should do without, as it actually incurs a certain security penalty for no real gain. Though it's easy to get around, it does add another hurdle that attackers may not want to be bothered with (or some less experienced ones may not be capable of) overcoming. Click on MAC Client List or similar button and you should see who is connected at the moment.
Have everyone reconnect and you should be able to select each one to add them to the MAC Client List. My router has "block" selected by default so be sure to select "allow" and then click the save button.
Now no one else will be able to connect to the router even if they have the wireless password.

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