Netgear: A Pioneer in What Might Be Called Baked In Insecurity

May 31, 2022

Computer security is an essential component for anyone using the Internet, because hackers target companies and individuals with scams and ransomware as well as steal personal information and intellectual property. As remote work becomes more common, the need for enhanced digital security increases. Companies that build hardware and software for Internet access are challenged to build robust and secure products. They also stand behind their products’ quality, but in a recent case networking equipment manufacturer Netgear admitted a flaw. Forbes reports the details in, “Netgear Says It Can’t Fix Multiple Vulnerabilities On Two Of Its Routers For Homeworkers.”

Netgear described the BR200 and BR500 models as secure routers for at-home workers connecting to their corporate networks. Unfortunately, these routers have exploitable security vulnerabilities and they cannot be fixed. Netgear will replace the defective models with a free or discounted router. The problem is minuscule, but all it takes is one crack to bring down a dam:

“The vulnerability of these two routers means there could be a security breach if a user is visiting a suspicious website and clicking on a malicious link while they have the router’s built-in web interface for adjusting the router’s settings. Frankly, that’s pretty unlikely to happen but with computer security, no matter how minuscule the threat might be, it must be taken seriously. The hacker only has to get lucky once.”

It is wonderful that Netgear admitted the mistake and is working with its customers to resolve the issue. Netgear also released a list of precautions BR200 and BR500 owners could use to prevent the hack if they wish to keep the router.

We wish more companies would own up to mistakes like Netgear. Politicians could certainly learn a thing or two from Netgear. Could Microsoft garner a fresh insight? Maybe?

Whitney Grace, May 31, 2022


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