FBI urges people to reboot their home and office routers

Devin Lawrence
May 29, 2018

The malware could possibly collect information, exploit the device, block network traffic and render the routers inoperable.

The FBI is asking everyone to do a reboot of their routers because it should destroy part of the malware.

The FBI is warning that Russian hackers have infected routers, the device that brings internet to our homes and offices.

According to Cisco Talos, VPNFilter may have targeted at least 500,000 devices in at least 54 countries, with known affected devices by Linksys, MikroTik, Netgear, and TP-Link.

While it might sound like a bad Facebook post, it's true: The FBI wants you to reset (power cycle) your home or small office router.

Rebooting a router clears the "advanced" stages of VPNFilter from a device, but the first stage remains in place. Most devices in homes and businesses come equipped with default credentials which are easily stolen by hackers.

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The FBI said it would gather the IP addresses of infected devices, and pass those to the Shadowserver Foundation to disseminate among ISPs and non-US CERTs.

You can simply un-plug your router to turn it off.

"Although devices will remain vulnerable to reinfection with the second stage malware while connected to the Internet, these efforts maximize opportunities to identify and remediate the infection worldwide in the time available before Sofacy actors learn of the vulnerability in their command-and-control infrastructure", the DOJ said in the statement.

Users should update network devices to the latest versions of firmware to prevent further malware attacks. The malware reportedly targets several manufacturers and network-attacked storage (NAS) devices by at least one manufacturer.

Additionally, those with small and home offices are asked to consider disabling remote management settings on their devices, as well as securing the devices with strong passwords and encryption.

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