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JaySKay
Aspiring Contributor
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Message 1 of 14

Is my BT Home Hub 5 putting my security at risk??

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Hi everybody,

I've just read a Which? article dated October 2021 entitled "Wireless Routers: is your router putting your security at risk?" in which they state the following:

"As with most router providers, BT doesn't have an update policy per se. It doesn't say how long it will support each of its routers for and we think that several of them shouldn't be used any more because they could be unsecure. BT did tell us: 'We want to reassure customers that the routers we ship today are routinely monitored and updated, and if a customer is unhappy with any aspect of our service, then we encourage them to get in touch with our support teams who are on hand to help.' It also said that there were options for customer to get a new router when they renewed their broadband contract."

I currently have a BT Home Hub 5 which I've had for many years. The Which? article indicates that BT's Home Hub 5A & 5B were released in 2013 and should be upgraded. When I renewed my contract in February 2021 for 2 years I asked for a router upgrade but they declined.............even though I have ALWAYS been loyal to BT and never switched provider!

My existing router still seems to work OK, but I'm concerned that it's no longer being supported and isn't keeping my wireless network free of hackers and malware!

Can anybody comment on how long BT supports its routers and if BT has a declared router upgrade policy? Seems totally unfair that new customers get the latest tech but existing/long-standing customers are put at risk by unsupported or obsolete routers.

Thanks

John

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13 REPLIES 13
NigelB72
Guru
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Message 2 of 14

Re: Is my BT Home Hub 5 putting my security at risk??

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Firmware is updated as and when required or if any security flaw are discovered. If you're hub needed replacing, they'd replace it. 

People that have the newer models normally have a requirement for them such as fibre broadband, BT TV etc etc.

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JaySKay
Aspiring Contributor
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Message 3 of 14

Re: Is my BT Home Hub 5 putting my security at risk??

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"As and when required?" So how do I know if or when the firmware on my router has been updated? How can I verify by interrogating my router?

How can BT reassure customers that their router is 'safe'? Do we just take their word for it?  I for one need proof!

FYI I upgraded to Fibre years ago but I was never considered for a router upgrade at the time or since!

John

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NigelB72
Guru
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Message 4 of 14

Re: Is my BT Home Hub 5 putting my security at risk??

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You don't need proof, you're just allowing media to control your paranoia. If there was any kind of security issues related to BT hubs that are currently in service, it'd be mentioned quite frequently on these forums and in the media. The fact that it isn't, should tell you that there is nothing to be concerned about.

I've just read the article and it's pretty much a non event. The best way to ensure your personal security online, is to install antivirus and malware software. They even say this in the article.

JaySKay
Aspiring Contributor
492 Views
Message 5 of 14

Re: Is my BT Home Hub 5 putting my security at risk??

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Anti-virus & malware software protects my laptop at that's where it's installed. Hackers can gain access through any smart device that's connected wirelessly through my router, (Smart TV, video doorbell, heating controls) so the router must surely be the security Achilles heel?

I'll pass your comments on to Which? for their consideration. Non-event indeed. At least they're on the side of the consumer, unlike big corporates like BT who are beholden to shareholders!

John

licquorice
Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
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Message 6 of 14

Re: Is my BT Home Hub 5 putting my security at risk??

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I'm sure there are thousands of hackers queuing up to hack your hub and fiddle with your central heating controls.

No router produced is 100% secure nor will it ever be. If you wish to use the internet you have to accept the miniscule risks involved. Your AV  only protects you from known risks, not Donald Rumsfeld's unknown unknowns.

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JaySKay
Aspiring Contributor
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Message 7 of 14

Re: Is my BT Home Hub 5 putting my security at risk??

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If the risks are so miniscule as you claim, then why has the Government embarked on its 'Secure By Design' initiative that will require many network connected consumer devices to follow certain pro-security practices such as TRANSPARENCY on future support for security updates and providing a route for third parties to report vulnerabilities?

No doubt any eventual legislation will not apply retrospectively so broadband ISP won't be in breach of the law, thereby allowing them to maintain a huge pool of unsupported routers...........giving consumers yet another reason to switch supplier so that they can get hold of the latest tech. What a farce!

John

Les-Gibson
Recognised Expert
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Message 8 of 14

Re: Is my BT Home Hub 5 putting my security at risk??

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@JaySKaywrote:

"As and when required?" So how do I know if or when the firmware on my router has been updated? How can I verify by interrogating my router?

 


Logon to your router by entering 192.168.1.254 into the address bar of your browser, the firmware version and the last updated date can be seen in the footer of the page that opens, just to the left of the BT logo

The biggest threats to the security of yours, and many other routers, are UPnP and WPS, both have their uses but both can be used against you by those who know the flaws so never leave either of them turned on, just turn them on if you have a reason to do so and then turn them off again.

Another precaution you can take is the classic good strong Wi-Fi password, the default one is not that strong these days, if you must make a note of it then don't leave it in plain site.

Other than that I have to say that I am in full agreement with the advice so far received


       
                                                     If the Smart Hub 2 is BT's best hub yet then what does that say about its predecessors ?
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JaySKay
Aspiring Contributor
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Message 9 of 14

Re: Is my BT Home Hub 5 putting my security at risk??

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Thanks for the tips!

BT Home Hub 5 (Type A) | Software version 4.7.5.1.83.8.264 | Last updated 01/03/19.

UPnP was enabled so I've now switched it OFF.

WPS is enabled; when I switch it OFF I get the following warning message:

Are you sure?

After changing the configuration settings, devices connected to your BT Home Hub may lose connection.

For devices connecting via wireless you may lose access to the BT Hub Manager pages and you will need to reconnect each device using the instructions provided with your devices.

Cheers

John

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Les-Gibson
Recognised Expert
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Message 10 of 14

Re: Is my BT Home Hub 5 putting my security at risk??

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That's just warning you that you may have to type the Wi-Fi password in manually in the unlikely event that one of your devices loses connection but if you don't feel comfortable then don't do it. The risk of leaving WPS enabled is one of those strange things, it's very real but unlikely 


       
                                                     If the Smart Hub 2 is BT's best hub yet then what does that say about its predecessors ?
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