Over 800,000 Virgin Media customers are being advised to change the password for their internet router after an investigation has found hackers could gain access to it.

Virgin Media said the risk to customers with a Super Hub 2 router was “small”, but advised them to change both their network and router passwords if they were still set as the default shown on the attached sticker.

The advice has followed a Which? snapshot investigation that tested a host of popular smart gadgets and appliances to see whether they could withstand a hacking attack.

Ethical security researchers SureCloud gained access to the Super Hub 2, although Virgin Media said the issue existed with other routers of the same age, not just their model.

A Virgin Media spokesman stressed that the company continually upgrades its systems “to ensure that we meet all current industry standards”.

“To the extent that technology allows this to be done, we regularly support our customers through advice and updates and offer them the chance to upgrade to a Hub 3.0 which contains additional security provisions,” he said.

8 out of 15 appliances tested in the Which? study were found to have at least one security flaw.

The test found that the Fredi Megapix home CCTV camera system operated over the internet using a default administrator account without a password, and Which? found thousands of similar cameras available for anyone to watch the live feed over the internet.

The watchdog said that “worse still” a hacker could even pan and tilt the cameras to monitor activity in the house.

SureCloud also hacked the CloudPets stuffed toy, which allows family and friends to send messages to a child via Bluetooth and made it play its own voice messages.

Which? said it contacted the manufacturers of eight affected products to alert them to flaws as part of the investigation, with the majority updating their software and security.

However, they have not received a response from either Fredi Megapix or CloudPets.


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