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Since a router in bridge mode works like a modem, do you need to even update it?

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    Can I connect to it? If I can connect to it, I can exploit a vulnerability. Somebody used a vulnerability a few years ago to create a large botnet of routers. – Fire Quacker May 22 at 14:40
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    "Since a router in bridge mode works like a modem ..." - this is not universally true. What kind of router you are talking about and what exactly is done by this router when "bridge mode" is enabled? Unfortunately both "router" and "bridge" are today used with a variety of meanings. – Steffen Ullrich May 22 at 14:47
  • 1. A router in bridge mode works like a switch. Modems are ancient fossils from the telephonic internet era, which ended about in 2000-2005. 2. You can still need to update the router, it is still visible on the network (like switch synchronization things or some admin/management interface). – peterh - Reinstate Monica May 23 at 0:32
  • 1. Technically broadband modems (xDSL, cable) do fit the definition of a modem, too. 2. Dial-up connections are still used by many households, especially in less developed countries, like... United States. – Esa Jokinen May 23 at 6:41
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You neeed to keep up today any software device, so if your router contains software is a good idea to keep the software update to the latest version in order to get fix issues on it.

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There are a number of reasons to update anyway. I assume, that behind the router/modem in bridge mode, you have some sort of security measure protecting yourself (like a firewall).

First are the features from your provider. If your provider suddenly offers new features like IPv6, your ADSL router may need an update. It may even be that your old router/modem only supports out-of-date protocols for connecting at that at some point, these are no longer supported by your provider (I've seen that with VPNs)

Second, it may be that your router/modem in bridge-mode is hacked and used as a stepping stone. Not to your own network (I assume that you have your border controls in order) but as part of a large DDOS attack, for example.

Of course, if your device is taken over, that is the ideal place to start a man-in-the-middle attack on your traffic.

There may be other reasons as well, but these should be sufficient.

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