ASUS Router Users Plagued by Unanticipated Outage: Here’s What Happened
Since Wednesday this week, a considerable number of ASUS router users worldwide have been grappling with unexpected malfunctions. Inexplicably, routers began to crash and even after repeated restarts, would not return to normal functioning.
A few users tried restarting their routers multiple times. Immediately after each restart, the router would appear to operate normally for a few minutes before succumbing once again to the same malfunction, necessitating another restart.
It was not until Saturday, after receiving a flood of user feedback, that ASUS acknowledged this was no ordinary issue. After investigation, the company discovered the culprit: a problematic update it had recently pushed to its routers.
This faulty update was consuming all system space on ASUS routers. Even more crucially, it depleted all memory, causing the routers to crash and affecting a vast number of users.
The malfunction occurred in the following manner:
This issue did not affect all ASUS router users globally, only those who had enabled the built-in AiProtection network security system.
ASUS began pushing the security system definition update to users worldwide on May 16. These updates were downloaded and installed through ASUS’s automatic router update system.
However, the pushed definition update was erroneous. When routers fetched this file, a memory leak issue emerged, resulting in the total exhaustion of memory.
This explains why users could use the router for a few minutes after a restart, before it would crash again due to the memory being depleted once more.
Customer dissatisfaction with ASUS:
One would assume such a significant issue would be easily detected after being pushed. But for several days post-push, ASUS only addressed user feedback through its customer service.
The solutions provided by customer service were limited to restarting or resetting the router. Without the intervention of a technical team, these measures proved to be woefully inadequate in resolving the issue.
Only after Friday did the ASUS technical team issue a statement detailing the problem and providing a solution. By this time, many users were at their wit’s end, having experienced considerable distress. In today’s world, being without a network connection is a substantial inconvenience. Clearly, ASUS’s subsequent apologies did little to soothe the users’ frustrations.
Solution to the problem:
ASUS has now withdrawn the problematic update and released a new one. This issue affected not only official ASUS firmware but also third-party custom firmware.
But why were users who had not enabled automatic updates also receiving the push? ASUS explained that the security module resident in memory would independently scan for updates.
With the problematic update now retracted and a new one pushed, users simply need to restart their routers. After the restart, the erroneous update will automatically be replaced by the correct update.
If the router continues to crash or if users are unable to access the router interface normally, a complete router reset and reconfiguration of all settings is recommended.