Virgin Media’s Super Hub 3 allegedly has another flaw – and it’s a big one

If you’re a Virgin Media customer with the newest Super Hub 3, here’s some bad news – the router is allegedly open to being hit by a low-bandwidth denial-of-service (DoS) attack which could completely clog up your connection.

This is all because of Intel’s Puma 6 chipset which powers the Super Hub 3 – and other routers, which are also open to abuse, incidentally – that’s vulnerable to a simple DoS attack, providing the malicious party launching said attack knows your IP address.

The kicker here is that even a small amount of traffic will bog down your internet connection, so any attacker – pretty much irrespective of how slow their connection is – can muster a volley of DoS fire with enough bandwidth to take out your internet service.

According to ISPreview, reports claim that even a meagre 1Mbps DoS attack will bump up the latency on your connection by around 20ms, causing a number of peaks and packet loss, too.

And if that’s doubled up to 2Mbps, you’re looking at huge problems such as 200ms extra latency and a packet loss level of around two-thirds. Jack that up further to 3Mbps, and packet loss of around 85% is generated, with things effectively becoming unusable even for basic surfing (let alone online gaming or business videoconferencing, for example).

Downgrade is doubtful

Some affected customers have even contacted Virgin Media to ask if they can revert to an older Super Hub to avoid this issue (and other flaws), but without any joy by all accounts.

Hopefully a firmware fix will be coming, although there’s certainly some doubt on the community forums about how long it might take Intel to produce a successful patch.

As we noted in our review of the Super Hub 3, since last year there have been reports of excessive lag and packet loss due to an issue with the Puma 6 chipset, and the patch for this is still a work in progress.

All in all, Intel’s chipset is causing all kinds of grief for some poor Virgin Media customers.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).