Federal Authorities: Reboot Your Router to Stop Russian Malware


The FBI said the size and scope of the infrastructure impacted by VPNFilter malware is significant though how it started is yet to be found. Make sure devices are upgraded to the latest versions of firmware.

A group of foreign actors used VPNFilter malware, which can stop routers from operating altogether and can possibly collect information passing through them.

The FBI is urging those with small offices and home offices to reboot their routers after "foreign actors" infected thousands of routers with malware. The malware, dubbed VPNFilter, allows outside hackers to monitor or block web traffic, steal your data, and even permanently disable the router, the Federal Bureau of Investigation says.

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VPNFilter is able to render small office and home office routers inoperable. The attackers slipped the malware onto routers that were still using default login credentials with remote access enabled, as well as those that simply had unpatched security vulnerabilities. Rebooting will disable the malware only temporarily, but that's OK: The bureau has seized a key web domain connected with the attack and will be able to detect the IP address of routers that hackers are attempting to re-infect.

Experts suggest setting a strong password for you router as well.

Cisco's Talos Intelligence researchers revealed in a report last week that 500,000 routers made by Linksys, MikroTik, Netgear, and TP-Link had been infected with VPNFilter. Rebooting is only a temporary solution, so owners of the affected routers should start looking for a more modern replacement.