Denial of Service attacks alert

You might have received a letter and/or email from Virgin Media to explain that we’ve been notified of malicious traffic originating from a device that uses your home broadband connection. If you have heard from us about this, there’s no need to worry. The advice on this page should help sort things out.

Why have you written to me?

We believe a device on your home network has participated in a Denial of Service attack, which is where a computer system sends a large amount of traffic to another computer system or network with the aim of disrupting its connection to the Internet.

We take these attacks very seriously, so when we think a customer of ours has a security issue on their network, we send them an alert with advice on what to do next.

What’s happened?

We’ve received a report that suggests malicious traffic is originating from a device on your home network. We realise this is unlikely to be your fault, but this kind of abuse is against our Acceptable Use Policy. If the abuse continues we might have to suspend or cancel your broadband service.

For this reason, it’s important you follow the advice in this article.

What can I do about it?

If you have a basic knowledge of computers and connected devices, there are some steps you can take to secure your email inbox and home network. Please follow these steps in order*:

The most common cause behind this type of problem is through a service used by a computer or mobile device being exposed to the Internet when it was never designed to be. This is usually done through a misconfiguration in your router’s firewall settings.

To check the firewall rules in your broadband router, please follow the steps relevant to the router running in your home:

Hub 3.0

To check for open ports on the Virgin Media Hub 3.0:

  • Access your Hub's configuration page - default web address: 192.168.0.1
  • Login with your username and password, default will be shown on the Hub itself
  • Select Security on the left side of the page
  • Select the Port Forwarding option
  • Remove any rules for ports that you don’t specifically need open. If you are not running any servers then you most likely do not need any ports open.

Virgin Media Super Hub

To check for open ports on the Super Hub 1 or 2’s firewall:

  • Access your Hub's configuration page - default web address: 192.168.0.1
  • Login with your username and password, default will be shown on the Hub itself
  • Select Advanced Settings and accept the prompt
  • Scroll down to the Security section
  • Select the Port Forwarding option
  • Remove any rules for ports that you don’t specifically need open. If you are not running any servers then you most likely do not need any ports open.

3rd party routers

If you use a 3rd party router in conjunction with the Virgin Media Super Hub or Hub 3.0, your router's firewall will need to be configured to ensure it only has open ports that you specifically need to be exposed to the Internet. If you are not running any servers on your home network then you most likely do not need any ports open.

In order to identify how to do this with your particular router, refer to the documentation for your device or refer to the manufacturer's website.

It is important to check all your devices sit behind a firewall. In most cases your firewall is configured as a part of your router, this is the case with the Virgin Media Super Hub and Hub 3.0. If you have specifically disabled the Firewall in your router, it is crucial that you configure your devices to sit behind a firewall.

Modem Mode - If you are using your Virgin Media Super Hub or Hub 3.0 in Modem Only mode, it is essential that you are using a firewall on any device or router that is plugged directly into the Hub. When in Modem Only mode, your Hub does not operate with a firewall. If this does not apply to you, please proceed to the next step.

DMZ - Most firewalls, including the one provided with the Virgin Media Super Hub and Hub 3.0 include a DMZ option. This feature allows for a device using a specific local IP address on your home network (e.g. 192.168.0.2) to bypass your Firewall settings. This is occasionally necessary if you are using a device that has its own firewall configured.

If you have a device configured in your firewall's DMZ that does not use its own firewall, it is crucial that you disable this option immediately. Computers operating without a firewall are extremely vulnerable to attack as all ports are essentially exposed to the wider Internet.

If you have not identified any issues through the two firewall steps, then it is likely that a device on your home network is infected with malware which is participating in online abusive activity.

We recommend running anti-virus scans across all your devices to detect and remove any infections.

If you have an existing security package installed, please consult the instructions on how to remove infections from your device. If you do not have an existing anti-virus, there are a number of free and reputable online scanners available, use your preferred search engine to find a solution that suits you.

Keep your operating system and application software up-to-date, and install software patches so attackers can't take advantage of known problems or vulnerabilities. Many operating systems offer automatic updates. If this option is available, you should enable it.

Where can I find further information and advice?

If you’d like further advice then our forum community will be happy to help. Just visit virginmedia.com/community and join the conversation on our Security Matters board.

You can find general security advice and articles on other vulnerabilities by checking Security Hub at virginmedia.com/securityhub

These fixes are provided as a courtesy and we are not responsible for any problems encountered whilst applying these steps and we are not able to provide any technical support for such problems.


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