Reboot routers to stop malware attack

30 May, 2018, 18:25 | Author: Darren Santiago
  • 07022015_Computer

The FBI is warning everyone with a wireless router to reboot it immediately in order to disrupt a malware program infecting hundreds of thousands of routers. "The malware can potentially also collect information passing through the router", the public service announcement said. There's surely more to it, but it has been recommended that all home routers or small office routers get a restart, which should clear the immediate threat. Rebooting interrupts the malware, if present.

The hackers have inserted malicious software, called VPN Filter, that could disable the routers and possibly steal information collected though them. As many as 500,000 devices in 54 countries might be compromised.

On May 25, the Federal Bureau of Investigation warned that anyone who uses a router to connect to the internet should reboot their routers. Network devices' firmware should also be upgraded. The latter is a Russian intelligence team that American and European intelligence agencies say is responsible for the hacking of the Democratic National Committee prior to the 2016 elections.

Cisco Talos listed the definitively affected routers as the Linksys E1200, E2500 and WRVS4400N; the Netgear DGN2200, R6400, R7000, R8000, WNR1000 and WNR2000; and the TP-Link TL-R600VPN SafeStream VPN router. Now, those attempts will be redirected to the FBI-controlled server, which will help identify infected devices. This time around, its VPNFilter malware has already taken hold of hundreds of thousands of home and office routers globally.

The FBI suggests that you consider disabling your router's remote management features.

"Most of the devices targeted are known to use default credentials and/or have known exploits, particularly for older versions".

Unfortunately, there's no easy way to tell if your router has been compromised by VPNFilter, according to CNET.

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