Capitol Hill

One senator wants vendors to ensure their internet connectivity devices are secure

Sen. Mark Warner is urging several network device vendors to ensure their products remain secure as millions of Americans work from home to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.

In his letters to Google, Netgear, CommScope, Asus, Belkin and Eero, the Virginia Democrat specifically expressed concern about wireless access points, routers, modems, mesh network systems and “related connectivity devices.”

“During this time, the security of consumer devices and networks will be of heightened importance,” Warner wrote in his letters. “It is also imperative that consumer Internet infrastructure not be used as attack vectors to consumer systems and workplace networks accessed from home. In light of these circumstances, I request your attention and diligence to help protect the consumer devices you sell.”

Warner also called on vendors to issue timely security updates for their products to reduce vulnerabilities. He also urged the companies to consider sending notifications to users about available updates and to provide information on how to securely use the devices.

“This is a timely occasion to remind customers about best practices and cybersecurity hygiene,” Warner wrote. “If any of your manufactured devices are no longer capable of receiving critical cybersecurity updates, consumers should receive and have access to clear guidance from your company advising them when their product is no longer protected from cybersecurity threats by its manufacturer.”

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