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by John W. Simek, Vice President of Sensei Enterprises, Inc.

Additional Advice to Disable UPnP

April 20, 2022

We have long recommended disabling “convenient” features on networking devices, primarily because they are insecure. If you haven’t already done it, change all the factory defaults for your routers and other network devices. As reported in a post by BleepingComputer, QNAP recommends turning off Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) port forwarding on its routers. We share that recommendation and will go a bit farther. It is not just QNAP devices, disable UPnP on every router you control. As the post states, “UPnP is a set of insecure network protocols with no encryption and authentication that comes with support for peer-to-peer communications between devices.” Geez, you think running insecure protocols is a good idea?

QNAP also stated, “Hackers can abuse UPnP to attack through malicious files to infect your system and gain control. Despite its convenience, UPnP may expose your device to public networks and malicious attacks.” Besides disabling UPnP on your routers, you should also consider disabling Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) and the ability for remote administration. This is another example of convenience over security. The human tendency is to take the easy way out and the heck with security.

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