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Is Your Router Login Banner Inviting Attackers In?

router login bannerA router login banner can be a helpful tool.  Many people use the Message of the Day (MOTD) or router login banner as a warning to ward off unwanted visitors and help identify ownership as well as other necessary legal disclaimers.   But did you know, depending on the verbiage you use, you could be inviting attackers or even provide a means for invaders to escape prosecution?

Using a word like “Welcome”  in your router login banner is like inviting vampires into your home.

A while back there were a couple of college kids who broke into their university’s router.  They did little damage however the university still pressed charges and took the two boys to court.  In the end both boys escaped punishment simply due to the fact that the router login banner began with the word “WELCOME”.  From a legal  point of view this was deemed that because the login banner said Welcome the boys were invited in.

For those not familiar with a MOTD or router login banner, it is a simple message displayed prior to logging into a router that is composed of several sentences.  The message usually indicates that the device is a private device and access is prohibited.

Here is a router login banner example:

*************************************************************

WARNING – PRIVATE ELECTRONIC DEVICE – ACCESS PROHIBITED

This device is a private network device.  Access to this device is

not authorized.  Any attempt for unauthorized access will be logged

and appropriate legal action will be taken.

*************************************************************

The above is only an example an not intended for actual use. You should consult your legal representation to fully understand the law within your jurisdiction.  This site accepts no responsibility for use of the above router login banner verbiage.

The main point to take away from all of this is to be very careful how you word your login banners.  The law in some jurisdictions is such that is you say that activity is being monitored is a violation of privacy and the criminals can escape punishment AGAIN!

As you can see this is a very touchy area. We even need to have a disclaimer for our example!

In summary a router login banner is a necessity, just consult your legal representation for the proper wording you should use and above all don’t invite vampires into your home!

About Joe

Senior Network Engineer, technology enthusiast, guitar and bass player. Joe Wilson is the creator of RouterFreak.com as well as other niche websites that can be found around on the Internets.

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2 comments

  1. What university was that or is there a public record of the law suit? I’m looking for proof that a login banner or lack of one could allow a criminal to get off the hook.

  2. Love it. Lawyers are soo creative these days. Good post.

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