Can you get a virus/hack from buying a used modem/router?

  1.    #1

    Can you get a virus/hack from buying a used modem/router?


    We have internet where the modem and router we use came from the internet company. They told us a while back if we ever not want the service anymore, we have to return the modem and wireless router. Thus imagine something like comcast etc.


    Well they started to charge $10 a month for the modem rental where if you buy it online on say amazon, it would cost about 50 dollars used. I believe you could buy a new one for 100 dollars or more from the website that sells these actual routers. I figure buying a modem easily pays for itself as if you buy a used one or even a new one. But then i thought... what if these modem are hacked or someone returned a modem or sell a modem that is hacked. Is that very possible? Thus imagine someone sells a model to someone else or sell it to a popular seller on ebay or amazon and then when that seller sell its, the buyer uses it with no issues but suddenly their computer gets hacked or keylogged? I know many things now could be hacked so wouldn't an internet modem probably be one of the easier things to hack? I asked if a keyboard could be hacked and ppl say a wireless one yes but a wired is tougher.


    So i wanted to know, is it more safer to buy a brand new modem instead of a used one? The other thing that i like to know is when a internet company have internet installed in your apartment or house, is the modem they give you brand new? I assume not and its always one that is returned by a previous owner of that internet?


    Also if a modem could get hacked, i assume a wireless router as well? I don't believe we have to buy a router as that comes along with it and there is no rental fee. But a modem there is. But if you do a hard reset of a modem or router, would that clear everything?


    What concerns me is buying a used modem and then your computer network get hack etc. Has anyone heard of this? I heard one negative thing about buying a used modem is if its a stolen modem or its registered to someone else and then that used modem you bought is no good because of that. Well that isn't a big deal because worst case, you can't get a refund back and out a little bit of money but usually you can return it. But of course not if its too long. But anyone heard of these cases?


    Is it safe to buy a used modem on amazon or ebay? Could you factory reset the modem where you don't have to worry about anything like that? I know that there are hackers that put public wifi out and ppl think its the actual starbucks or hotel wifi and then log in to it and then get hacked. Opinions on this or am i too paranoid on this. I never even thought about this until recently. A long time ago i recall buying a used modem because an old internet company charged a monthly fee for it and we got one for it. But now this company is doing the same thing. So is it safer to buy a new modem and pay double or more than double the price for security from hacks?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 13,709
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Build 1809
       #2

    Hi paulyjustin.

    I haven't heard of modems getting hacked, they really are dumb devices that change signals from one source to another.

    Routers on the other hand I've read can be hacked. You can do a factory reset and this, in all the articles I've read, clears the pests.

    For sure vendors clean and repackage equipment, I would think this is different vendor to vendor and the age, appearance of a device being returned. It likely, but not necessarily, goes through some refurbishment, at a minimum a new power brick.

    I think one risk to buying a modem is confirmation that is is compatible with ISP network and that they permit these devices to be installed.

    I just went through this article. Change the admin name if you can and establish your own complex password. I also shut off WPS, entering a password is not a big deal.

    https://www.tomsguide.com/us/home-ro...ews-19245.html

    Not all routers are created equally. Broadcast power, number of bands, quality of radios, ability to connect a USB device all play into the price. In my dealings really cheap routers are just that. You also want to know that current firmware is available for your router, if not move on. Check at router manufacture site. Don't have a definition of current but 2014 ain't.

    Let's see what other members say. I would be interested if anyone has seen a modem, pure modem, be infected.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    #3

    Of course a modem can be hacked. They all run Linux so you can change the software (and often this is a selling point).

    You can also hack a USB keyboard, a camera or anything you connect to your computer if you have the desire - just google "hardware hacks"

    Is it likely someone will do this on the off-chance you personally buy it off ebay? No, I don't think so.

    Mind you plenty of governments are refusing to buy Chinese modems for 5G network because of this exact same thought process.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    #4

    When you say hack a usb keyboard, you mean a wired one right? So basically almost everything is hackable? Thus if a hacker has access to a keyboard or modem and then you know have important information on your computer, and they offer to lend you their keyboard or modem, then when you use your computer, you going to get hacked then?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    #5

    paulyjustin said: View Post
    When you say hack a usb keyboard, you mean a wired one right? So basically almost everything is hackable? Thus if a hacker has access to a keyboard or modem and then you know have important information on your computer, and they offer to lend you their keyboard or modem, then when you use your computer, you going to get hacked then?
    Not necessarily. Some people who lend you things are not hackers. They could be your friend or family.

    I recently bought a used BT keyboard/mouse for $1. I doubt it is hacked but it could be - it is obvious anything you plug in can copy its input. You have to think if it is likely.

    Lenovo did it with their laptops a few years ago (added malware to to sell advertising) but got caught almost immediately.

    I wouldn't worry about unless you are a international spy in which case tenforums may not be the best place to ask.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 

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