Last weekend was a bit of an adventure. On Saturday night as the family gathered in the den around the TV and their various screens I suddenly got an alert from AVG that my Wifi router had acquired a new MAC address.
“Curious” I thought as I leaped from the couch and snatched all the Ethernet cables from the back of it and pulled the power cord from the wall.
Not wanting to alarm my wife I calmly advised her, “We’ve been hacked!”
Me: “Hacked! Compromised! They’ve killed the WiFi!”
Wife: “Fix. It”
So I did what any reasonable tech geek would do. I pulled out my old (18 months at least) laptop and a spare Ethernet cable and connected to the WiFi router with an admonition to everyone, “DO NOT CONNECT TO THE INTERNET!”
As I pulled up the admin page for the router I was greeted with text that looked distinctly non-english. As the only secondary languages I am versed in are C#, Java, and SQL I reasoned that this had not been something of my own doing.
I disconnected the laptop and immediately started a virus scan. I shut down the WiFi router and placed it on the “Shelf of Shame” in my downstairs Gym/Office/Storage room.
Somberly I told my wife, “It’s toast, but Best Buy is open for another fifteen minutes…”
Wife: (no words just eyes, those eyes!)
Me: “Ok, I can go in the morning.”
Wife: (Again with the eyes)
Me: “It’s buy a new one or try to reset this one and hope I don’t miss something.”
Wife: “Fine” (translation: not fine but I will allow it.)
Long story short, we’ve got a new LinkSys AC2600 router. Much larger throughput and a wider WiFi range. Best part? It was on sale! Fifty dollars off. Sweet!