Federal Bureau of Investigation to all router users: Reboot now to neuter Russia's VPNFilter malware

Anna Jefferson
May 29, 2018

Because the Justice Department recently obtained a court order allowing it to take possession of a key domain name used by the malware to remotely take control of routers.

If you've had router issues in the past, you're probably familiar with the rebooting process. Make sure devices are upgraded to the latest versions of firmware.

VPNFilter malware has a unique quality in that it can remain on an infected device even after a reboot.

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The FBI believes hackers are blocking web traffic and collecting information that passes through these routers.

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.

As at May 25, the date of the public service announcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation stills said the infection vector was unknown.

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If left unattended, the malware has the potential to render routers completely inoperable. The malware can potentially also collect information passing through the router.

The FBI suggests that you consider disabling your router's remote management features. Talos, the threat intelligence agency for Cisco, estimated that 500,000 devices in 54 countries have been infected.

Breaking the connection though, is basically what you need to do, and the FBI's action in seizing the server spreading the malware means that your routers won't be reinfected once you reboot.

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The security experts added that the most vulnerable devices were manufactured by Linksys, Mikrotik, Netgear, QNAP and TP-Link.

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