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How to spot (and stop) router compromise

How to spot (and stop) router compromise Router compromise. Hardly the most nerve-wracking phrase in the cybercrime lexicon, but one that is a fast-increasing threat for every single Australian business. Last year saw widespread warnings about router security, with computer electronics company ASUS identifying vulnerabilities in its hardware and the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) noting that many organisations lost critical configuration files due to router compromise.

It's an issue that every organisation needs to put on their data security agenda - has yours begun the process?

What is router compromise, and how does it work?

Router compromise is a fairly sophisticated form of data breach. Malicious entities conduct automated scans of routers to identify hardware that is vulnerable to an attack. This enables an adversary to extract configuration files, from which point they may be able to control or manipulate any devices that connect to your network, as well as the Internet connection itself.

In most cases so far, cyber attacks on routers have focused on those with Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) that is exposed to the Internet. This is a default setting, usually established during the setup of a network. While many organisations turn SNMP off after this process is complete, many more have left it open, creating risk of compromise. The ACSC has noted that router switches with Cisco Smart Install exposed to the Internet are also susceptible to router scanning and hacking.

How can you identify router compromise?

If your organisation's router has this exposure to attacks, there are some straightforward checks that network administrators can take immediately. You should check network logs for:

  • Unexpected SNMP queries; or queries of unknown origin.
  • Command outputs or network configurations that have come from outside sources - particularly through Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP).
  • Configurations that apply to GRE tunnels you would not expect changes to.

If any of these red flags emerge, it may be time to conduct a thorough assessment of the threat, in line with the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme guidelines from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.

How can you prevent router compromise?

The first step in prevention is the simplest - if your router has SNMP which is exposed to the Internet, disable it. If you require read/write capabilities with your SNMP, ensure it cannot connect with unauthorised or untrusted third parties. Alternatively, you can upgrade your SNMP to version 3 and adjust all of the community strings to an appropriate setting.

Similarly, for Cisco router users, if you do not require Cisco Smart Install to be active, disable it. You can also begin using Access Control Lists (ACL), which limit the access SNMP has to network configurations. Finally, you can configure your anti-spoofing protocols to drop any packets at the edge of your network which come from unauthorised sources.

The ACSC is also proactively scanning Australian IP address ranges, looking for vulnerable or compromised routers.

Mitigate the impacts of router scanning today

Click here to download the eBook If your organisation suffers a router compromise-related attack, the costs can be far-reaching. Beyond the money spent eradicating the threat and hardening/patching your systems, significant data breaches require comprehensive follow-up action with both the OAIC and any affected third parties.

Hardware may need to be replaced, staff upskilled, and consumer relations or company reputation may suffer irreparable damage if an attack threatens an individual's safety.

Cyber criminals are becoming more and more sophisticated, with router scanning just one example of new ways your systems can be breached. To stay on the cutting edge of data security, it's critical you work with partners who can provide around-the-clock service, proactively anticipate threats and shut down risks before they spread.

To learn more about router vulnerability and other cyber risk areas, our 24 page eBook, IT Managers: Set your Network Defences to Stunning, is a great resource with tips you can use to identify, contain and prevent cyber security threats. You can download it here.

That's the difference Over the Wire will make. Contact the team today to find out more.

The Timeline of a Data Breach

Since the inception of the Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme in Feburary 2018, data breaches are required to be reported and Australian businesses have even more responsibility to demonstrate an aggressive approach to managing cyber-risk. To help businesses understand how this process works we've prepared the following infographic.

Over the Wire provides a 24/7 protection and notification managed security service, with local specialists on hand to monitor and mitigate any threats to your company. Find out more about our security service here.

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Countdown to Chaos: The Timeline of a Data Breach Infographic

How we can help

Click here to download the eBook

Over the Wire provides a 24/7 protection and notification managed security service, with local specialists on hand to monitor and mitigate any threats to your company. Find out more about our security service here. Or complete the form below.

To understand more about how breaches occur and how to prevent them, our 24 page eBook, IT Managers: Set your Network Defences to Stunning, is a great resource with tips you can use to identify, contain and prevent cyber security threats. You can download it here.

OTW wins Deloitte and CRN awards

Over the Wire wins Deloitte and CRN awards In a gala event last night, Over the Wire was recognised on the CRN Fast50 list. Joining a host of other fast-moving IT firms being honoured at the gala dinner, Over the Wire placed 40th. Congratulations to all the companies on this list, and particular mention to RIoT Solutions for taking out the top spot.

Managing Director Michael Omeros said, "These awards are recognition of the hard work and dedication from our staff, as well as our customers who continue to support us over the years. As a company with one of the highest revenues on the list, I am very proud of our achievements as the challenge of qualifying for these awards based on percentage growth increases substantially."

This is the second award for Over the Wire in as many days, being recognised by Deloitte in their Tech Fast 50 list. These awards add to a busy month of November for the company, which also included the acquisition of VPN Solutions, re-branding as Mo-ver the Wire in support of the Movember Foundation, as well as also being recognised by the Australian Financial Review in their Fast 100 awards.

OTW #74 in Financial Review Fast 100 - 2017

Financial Review Fast 100 - Over the Wire ranked 74 The Australian Financial Review has released the Financial Review Fast 100 list for 2017, comprising of Australian businesses that have shown consistent, high growth over time. The rankings were calculated on a 3-year average of year-on-year growth percentage.

In the FY15 - FY17 period Over the Wire achieved an average year-on-year growth of 37.1%, which placed us at Rank 74 on the Fast 100 list. We’re very pleased with this outcome, and could not have achieved it without the amazing commitment from our team and the fantastic ongoing support from our clients - thank you!

Topping the list this year, with a staggering 464.8% average year-on-year growth over the 3-year period, is TripADeal. Congratulations to founders Norm Black and Richard Johnston, along with all of the other Fast 100 companies.

VPN Solutions joins the Over the Wire family

VPN Solutions - An Over the Wire Company The completion of the acquisition of VPN Solutions Pty Ltd by Over the Wire Holdings Limited (ASX:OTW) has taken place today, on 1 November 2017. Commenting on the acquisition, Managing Director Michael Omeros said,

“The acquisition of VPN Solutions is a great outcome for the Over the Wire group. It expedites our existing geographic expansion progress into New South Wales, as well as creating a presence in South Australia. Our selective quality acquisitions and strong organic growth ensure that we continue to execute on our strategy for growth, and we look forward to a positive 2018.”

We're excited to welcome them into the team, and look forward to an exciting future together.

About VPN Solutions

VPN Solutions is a telecommunications company that delivers business grade solutions to the Australian SME and Enterprise markets. Employing 21 staff and headquartered in New South Wales, VPN Solutions delivers managed networks to approximately 150 business customers. VPN Solutions prides itself on being able to successfully deliver complex solutions with a strong focus on customer service. For more information visit

Team Mo-ver the Wire supporting the Movember Foundation

Over the Wire is rebranding as Mo-ver the Wire for November 2017

The staff at Over the Wire rallied together to form a team in support the Movember Foundation and to bring awareness to men's health issues. With such a high level of involvement from our staff (nearly 40% of the company, including several Mo-Sistas) the company agreed to rebrand as Mo-ver the Wire for the month of November, along with supporting the cause in several other ways.

At the end of the month, here are key stats from the journey (updated 1st December 2017):

Mo-ver the Wire team progress and stats from Movember 2017

What did we do

As a team, we are want to raise awareness of men's health issues and to support each other as we challenged ourselves throughout the month.

With several Mo-Sistas (and a several more self-described "facially follically challenged" Mo-Bros), growing moustaches is not the only way we will be showing our support. One way we got involved is a movement challenge, with some of our team members setting targets like "Walk/Run/Cycle 300KM in November (average 10KM/day)" or a daily stairwell climb each work day at the office.

Our progress

Here's how we did over the month

  • Team members signed up = 41
  • Team fund raising target = $5,000
  • Team funds raised = $7,478
  • KM moved = 1,857.1km
  • Stairs climbed = 93,000 stairs

You can see visit or team Mo-Space by visiting our team page.

About the Movember Foundation

Our fathers, partners, brothers and friends face a health crisis that isn’t being talked about. Men are dying too young. We can’t afford to stay silent. That’s why we’re taking action.

We’re the only charity tackling men’s health on a global scale, year round. We’re addressing some of the biggest health issues faced by men: prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health and suicide prevention.

We know what works for men, and how to find and fund the most innovative research to have both a global and local impact. We're independent of government funding, so we can challenge the status quo and invest quicker in what works. In 13 years we’ve funded more than 1,200 men’s health projects around the world. By 2030 we’ll reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25%. Help us stop men dying too young. Join the movement.

Prostate Cancer kills 45 men every hour

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men, and rates are on the rise. By 2030 there’ll be 1.7 million men living with prostate cancer. It’s already killing hundreds of thousands of men each year, and those who survive face serious side effects.

We can’t afford to let this continue. So we’re taking action. Learn more.

Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men under 40

In most cases, the outcome for men with testicular cancer is positive, but a 95% chance of survival is no comfort to the 1 man in 20 who won’t make it. When testicular cancer strikes, it strikes young. Most of those men are between 15 and 40 years old.

We have to help them, and stop men from dying too young. Learn more.

Every minute a man dies from suicide

To speak with someone immediately, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467. If life is in danger, call 000 or go directly to emergency services.

Globally, the rate of suicide is alarmingly high, particularly in men. Around the world, on average we lose a man to suicide every minute of every day. Three out of four suicides are men. Too many are toughing it out and struggling alone.

We have to take action to improve mental health and reduce the rate of male suicide. Learn more.


Over the Wire to acquire VPN Solutions

Over the Wire Holdings Limited (OTW) (ASX:OTW) is pleased to announce that it has entered into a binding agreement to acquire all of the shares in VPN Solutions Pty Ltd (VPN). Completion of the acquisition is expected to take place on 1 November 2017 (Completion) and is subject to a limited number of customary conditions precedent.

Established in 2002, VPN is based in New South Wales and delivers business grade telecommunications solutions to the Australian SME and Corporate markets. VPN has approximately 150 business customers, has experienced high levels of customer retention and specialises in delivering complex managed network solutions. VPN will accelerate Over the Wire’s geographic expansion in New South Wales and South Australia.

Managing Director Michael Omeros said, “We are very excited to be able to welcome VPN Solutions to the Over the Wire group. VPN Solutions is a high quality provider of managed networks with an impressive list of long term clients. VPN Solutions expedites our geographic expansion plans into New South Wales and South Australia and complements our expansion into Victoria following the acquisition of Telarus earlier this year.”

About VPN Solutions

VPN Solutions is a privately held telecommunications company that delivers business grade solutions to the Australian SME and Enterprise markets. Employing 21 staff and headquartered in New South Wales, VPN Solutions delivers managed networks to approximately 150 business customers. VPN Solutions prides itself on being able to successfully deliver complex solutions with a strong focus on customer service. For more information visit

As ISDN begins its end, what will this mean for business voice?

With Australian ISDN drawing to a close, why should companies look to SIP as the best strategy for implementing business voice?

It might seem a long way off, but the eventual shut down of the Australian ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) will be here sooner than you think. By 2022 Telstra will discontinue supporting its ISDN products due to the supporting technologies and platforms nearing the end of their lifetime.

As the NBN continues to roll out across the country, what should businesses be doing in preparation for the switch?

What services will be switched off?

ISDN is a digital network technology that carries voice and data services over the public switched telephone network.

Telstra will cease the sale of ISDN2, ISDN2 Enhanced, ISDN10/20/30, DDS Fastway, Megalink and Frame Relay products by 30th June 2018, with a final disconnection date expected by 2022 which is when the products will no longer exist.

  • 31st January 2018 - New ISDN service unavailable for customers who do not already have ISDN in place.
  • 30th June 2018 - Full cease sale on new or additional ISDN services for all customers. No new services will be available.
  • June 2019 - Disconnection will commence for existing ISDN connections
  • By 2022 - All ISDN connections will be disconnected and full network will be decommissioned.

While businesses using these products can expect plenty of early warning leading up to the exit, the clock is definitely ticking for companies relying on ISDN to find an alternative solution.

Thankfully, a solution exists and it's cheaper and more efficient than ISDN. SIP, or Session Initiated Protocol is the future of business voice.

How to make the move from ISDN to IP Voice

A SIP Trunk is the digital equivalent of a traditional phone line. A SIP Trunk needs to connect to a PBX – a device that provides the brains behind the phone system that enables multiple users to share lines. You will need to decide whether to host your PBX in the cloud or at your premises. Getting the assistance of a SIP provider will help simplify this process.

The advantages of IP Voice over ISDN

Click here to download the reportSIP offers a number of key advantages over ISDN, which we’ve covered in greater detail in a report available for download, 6 Major Advantages IP Voice has over ISDN.

With the imminent cessation of ISDN, switching to sophisticated SIP technology should be a business priority.

At Over the Wire, our solutions unite voice, data and security through a single, end-to-end service provider. We can help organisations of any size achieve a higher level of productivity.

To find out more, reach out to a member of the Over the Wire team today.

Innovation Award for Private Mobile Data services

Optus 2017 Innovating for Excellence Award received by Over the WireOver the Wire and Telarus have received the Innovating for Excellence Award from Optus for our work around Private 4G networks. Michael Omeros (Managing Director) and John Puttick (Chairman) attended the event in Sydney, which was presented in front of many of Optus' wholesale clients.

The work involved in developing these Private Mobile Data capabilities evolved over several years, requiring significant input from Optus as the mobile carrier, hardware vendors, and staff - with special thanks to Jason Bednar and Robert Grace from the Telarus team for their efforts. Their work has culminated in the Private Mobile Data offering we now have available, along with the creation of a low-cost private network failover option for our MPLS clients. We believe this will have a significant positive impact on the data network market through the addition of a path-redundant, low cost, private network backup service.

If you'd like to know more about how you can implement automatic failover to a Private Mobile Broadband service on your existing data network or Internet connections, speak with our team today.

Introducing our new Hosted PBX Communications Solution

Telarus to be acquired by Over the WireOver the Wire has partnered with netsapiens, a mature PBX and Unified Communications platform servicing enterprises and telecommunications providers globally, to relaunch our Hosted PBX product. This new offering gives our clients the ability to upgrade to a superior platform, managed and maintained by Over the Wire across multiple geographic nodes for high availability and redundancy.

Key features of the new Hosted PBX offering include:

  • Unlimited call plans available
  • Guaranteed voice quality on our private data networks
  • Unified Communications included
  • Self-management portal for control over Adds/ Moves/ Changes
  • Handset rental available, with different models to choose from
  • Mobile soft-phone applications for on-the-go access
  • Geographic redundancy
  • Call reporting
  • Complex dial patterns, hunt groups, IVRs
  • High level of customisation possible.

Learn more here, or talk to our team to see how Over the Wire can transform your phone system into a full communications and collaboration solution.