Federal Bureau of Investigation urges people to reboot routers to thwart hackers

Federal Bureau of Investigation urges people to reboot routers to thwart hackers

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. Rebooting is only a temporary solution, so owners of the affected routers should start looking for a more modern replacement.

The FBI is warning that Russian hackers have infected routers, the device that brings internet to our homes and offices. Among the affected networking equipment it found during its research were devices from manufacturers including Linksys, MikroTik, Netgear and TP-Link.

Anyone with a small office or home office router should power cycle, or reboot their routers to disrupt the malware.

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

The FBI has already identified how the hackers got into the routers.

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The country also blamed Russian Federation for last June's NotPetya attacks that mostly affected Ukraine organizations but also spread within multinational corporations with offices in Ukraine. So protecting your computer against further intrusion is as simple as rebooting your router.

"By turning it off and on it resets in a way that allows the Federal Bureau of Investigation to identify the devices that were infected", said Ed Stroz, Founder of Stroz Friedberg - Aon.

VPNFilter malware has a unique quality in that it can remain on an infected device even after a reboot. Users should also upgrade their devices' firmware.

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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