Build Better Defenses
October 29–30, 2017: Training
October 30–November 1, 2017: Tutorials & Conference
New York, NY

Router security

Michael Horowitz (Independent)
3:50pm–4:30pm Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Teachable moments
Location: Sutton South

Who is this presentation for?

  • Everyone can find value in this presentation.

Prerequisite knowledge

  • A basic familiarity with TCP/IP networking

What you'll learn

  • Learn how to configure a router to be as secure as possible
  • Explore some of the huge mistakes that have been made in the past regarding router bugs and configuration


Routers are a perfect target for attack both because of the important role they play and the generally insecure way they are configured. For example, a large reason (perhaps the major reason) that IoT security is such an issue is that the routers fronting IoT devices often fail to protect them behind a firewall. (Yes, I’m talking UPnP.) A hacked router is a disaster: it may participate in a botnet, spy on you, steal your passwords, push malware to your devices, or bombarded you with ads.

Michael Horowitz offers an overview of some of the more interesting and widespread router flaws from the last few years. He then shares configuration tips on how to make any router as secure as possible and suggestions on testing an existing router. You’ll learn why you should know your DNS and what to look for when buying a new router. Michael ends with a look at the security of the newer mesh router systems.

Photo of Michael Horowitz

Michael Horowitz


Michael Horowitz is an independent computer consultant and blogger who works with small businesses and the self-employed, working on everything from websites, networks, software upgrades, backup strategies, and data recovery to tutoring and purchasing advice. Michael wrote his first computer program in 1973 and has been a computer nerd ever since. Previously, he spent more than 20 years working in an IBM mainframe (MVS) environment—developing applications in COBOL, Assembly Language, VSAM, CICS, and the ever-present batch environment; working with the IDMS database; and working with DB2 for MVS as a database administrator. He also worked in the Research and Development Group of a large Wall Street financial company and did some technical writing, producing manuals and the like for a mainframe software company. Michael holds a degree from New York University, where he minored in both computer science and mathematics.