Question Potential Hack Feedback

SaINt_

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Mar 12, 2016
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Hi. A friend of mine I associate with online says their router caught fire around the time of an online debate with another person whom they did not know.
I'm just strolling the web to see if that's even possible to cause a fire through a hack. I know of a good amount about hacking to kinda read my way around and I've seen people "fry" systems and other things. In short I have next to no info on the specifics of hardware/software other than it was an Xfinity router.

Can someone really set fire to a router, PC, tablet, etc with a hack? If so could an explanation be given on how exactly?
I have an idea but you know, knowledge is power. Hopefully I've posted this in the right location. Any and all feedback would be nice.
Big thanks in advance to any amount of time spent on this.
 
Mar 19, 2019
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I'm not gonna say im 100% sure on this, as im nowhere near all knowing. But from my experience, and general electronics knowledge, i don't see it as very feasible. As far as i'm aware, the only way you could set fire to a router like that would be by telling the voltage regulator to turn off. and allow unrestricted power through the circuits. On most electronics there are safety devices such as resistors, among others, that will blow to interrupt the circuit for exactly that reason.To prevent fires happening from a power surge. Not to mention they don't usually allow you to access the voltage regulator on a software level anyway. that's usually hardware level. My guess would be that the router developed a short circuit, at that But as i said i'm not all knowing, so don't quote me. I look forward to what the rest of the community has for input, and in the meantime i'll load up some old tools and take a crack at an old unused router of mine and see what i can accomplish lol. In a safe environment of course
 

SaINt_

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Mar 12, 2016
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I'm not gonna say im 100% sure on this, as im nowhere near all knowing. But from my experience, and general electronics knowledge, i don't see it as very feasible. As far as i'm aware, the only way you could set fire to a router like that would be by telling the voltage regulator to turn off. and allow unrestricted power through the circuits. On most electronics there are safety devices such as resistors, among others, that will blow to interrupt the circuit for exactly that reason.To prevent fires happening from a power surge. Not to mention they don't usually allow you to access the voltage regulator on a software level anyway. that's usually hardware level. My guess would be that the router developed a short circuit, at that But as i said i'm not all knowing, so don't quote me. I look forward to what the rest of the community has for input, and in the meantime i'll load up some old tools and take a crack at an old unused router of mine and see what i can accomplish lol. In a safe environment of course
That was my general idea as well, I've been sitting for hours on and off thinking of how that would even happen. There's so many levels both software and more than likely hardware level for someone trying to cause that kind of situation but I'm not exactly a software coding guru so I'm highly curious to spread the net out and see what all I can hear back from people.
Plus I'm not exactly trying to go poke the bear with a stick to see if it happens to my router, I'm not lucky enough to have spares or see if my provider would replace it. Not to mention there's so many other factors that could've played a part and without the exact router used it makes things harder.

I'll keep watch on the thread for more input, let me know if you find anything interesting testing your spares. In a safe environment of course lol.
 
Mar 19, 2019
27
1
45
1
That was my general idea as well, I've been sitting for hours on and off thinking of how that would even happen. There's so many levels both software and more than likely hardware level for someone trying to cause that kind of situation but I'm not exactly a software coding guru so I'm highly curious to spread the net out and see what all I can hear back from people.
Plus I'm not exactly trying to go poke the bear with a stick to see if it happens to my router, I'm not lucky enough to have spares or see if my provider would replace it. Not to mention there's so many other factors that could've played a part and without the exact router used it makes things harder.

I'll keep watch on the thread for more input, let me know if you find anything interesting testing your spares. In a safe environment of course lol.
Mine was an old ADSL router i had. My ISP upgraded to VDSL so i had to get a new one and got this old netgear lying around lol.

But so far nothing yet. I've looked as far into the code layers for the routers software as i can, but i don't see anything that would allow me to change or spoof the voltage limits. And without physical access, like hooking a generator directly to it lol, no way a remote hacker could bypass the hardware level restrictions as those are physical. Now, as i mentioned, on my spare there is no software code to change power input, but that doesn't necessarily mean all routers are like that. Without testing one of his exact make, model, and firmware, i can't be 100%.

But from what i'm seeing, i can't think of how a remote hack could cause that. Safest bet is simply faulty/damaged equipment.
 
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SaINt_

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Mar 12, 2016
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Mine was an old ADSL router i had. My ISP upgraded to VDSL so i had to get a new one and got this old netgear lying around lol.

But so far nothing yet. I've looked as far into the code layers for the routers software as i can, but i don't see anything that would allow me to change or spoof the voltage limits. And without physical access, like hooking a generator directly to it lol, no way a remote hacker could bypass the hardware level restrictions as those are physical. Now, as i mentioned, on my spare there is no software code to change power input, but that doesn't necessarily mean all routers are like that. Without testing one of his exact make, model, and firmware, i can't be 100%.

But from what i'm seeing, i can't think of how a remote hack could cause that. Safest bet is simply faulty/damaged equipment.
That was also my train of thought. This is the real world and not a Micheal Bay film world lol. Unless my associate just ran across the wrong person with the worse of luck online and it just so happen to be Lex Luthor on the other end, with my minor knowledge and search I'd say it's next to impossible. But we're also in an age where scientist are cracking through the laws of time travel with a quantum computer. So I'm open to all and any bits of knowledge I can get.

I found 1 case of a guy who's tv box caught fire also with Xfinity(Comcast), so even if I can't find any info on some shady, router fire hacks, Comcast could just be building stuff out of kindling and a dash gasoline. Which I'm not sure is worse, a router that can be hacked that way or potential unprovoked fire hazards being shipped to a bunch of people.
 
Mar 19, 2019
27
1
45
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That was also my train of thought. This is the real world and not a Micheal Bay film world lol. Unless my associate just ran across the wrong person with the worse of luck online and it just so happen to be Lex Luthor on the other end, with my minor knowledge and search I'd say it's next to impossible. But we're also in an age where scientist are cracking through the laws of time travel with a quantum computer. So I'm open to all and any bits of knowledge I can get.

I found 1 case of a guy who's tv box caught fire also with Xfinity(Comcast), so even if I can't find any info on some shady, router fire hacks, Comcast could just be building stuff out of kindling and a dash gasoline. Which I'm not sure is worse, a router that can be hacked that way or potential unprovoked fire hazards being shipped to a bunch of people.
Well Comcast doesn't make the best of routers tbh. I've never liked their equipment, always fails on me, or just underperforms. So it's a possibility that cheap equipment caused the issue. Netgear is honestly my preferred brand (nighthawk is beast) and i've never had issues with them lol.

Side note, don't know if you have it in your area or not, avoid centurylink equipment like a plague. They throttle their equipment from the getgo to ridiculous levels, and its super cheaply made lol
 

SaINt_

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Mar 12, 2016
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Well Comcast doesn't make the best of routers tbh. I've never liked their equipment, always fails on me, or just underperforms. So it's a possibility that cheap equipment caused the issue. Netgear is honestly my preferred brand (nighthawk is beast) and i've never had issues with them lol.

Side note, don't know if you have it in your area or not, avoid centurylink equipment like a plague. They throttle their equipment from the getgo to ridiculous levels, and its super cheaply made lol
Yea I've always had good times with Netgear. I always try to steer people away from Comcast stuff, the service and gear is just terrible. I myself use Verizon but more specifically Fios, it's a bit expensive even for just internet alone but I've never really had issues with the service or gear. The auto billing is a bit buggy though. Had a bad run in with that so I stopped auto billing ASAP. lol

I do want to buy the router they rent to me, it's a decent portion of the bill. At some point I want to replace it with something less common and stronger. With the times coming, gotta keep up with cyber defense.
 

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