Federal Bureau of Investigation urges public to reboot home routers amid malware attack

29 May, 2018, 21:04 | Author: Sally Reid
  • A plugged in computer router

The malware is capable of blocking web traffic, collecting information that passes through home and office routers, and disabling the devices entirely, the bureau announced Friday.

They don't know where the malware started and don't know how many routers might be affected, but the Federal Bureau of Investigation says the number is significant. The malware can potentially also collect information passing through the router.

The FBI on Monday went public with a warning, urging people to reboot the internet routers in their homes because Russian hackers have targeted hundreds of thousands of the devices. The company listed routers from Linksys, MikroTik, Netgear, and TP-Link, and QNAP storage systems, as targets of VPNFilter.

However, the most worrying capability is that malware allows its controllers to wipe a portion of an infected device's firmware, rendering it useless.

Rebooting a router clears the "advanced" stages of VPNFilter from a device, but the first stage remains in place.

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Simply removing the power cable, pausing for 30 seconds, and then plugging it back in should flush the router's cache and remove the malware.

If, like millions of Americans, you have a router in your home or office, it might already be infected by Russian malware named VPNFilter.

If you've had router issues in the past, you're probably familiar with the rebooting process.

As we noted last Thursday, a reboot only removes part of the infection: the infected device will still try to contact command and control servers. Upgrading the router's firmware and changing the password will also help secure your device.

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