Monday, 20 August, 2018

Federal Bureau of Investigation urging people to restart routers after thousands infected by 'foreign actors'

FBI urges people to reboot routers to thwart hackers FBI urges people to reboot routers to thwart hackers
Lloyd Bates | 29 May, 2018, 21:07

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

The FBI's in its advisory said that some attackers have used a malware named VPNFilter to attack routers which makes them able to steal information and or even block internet services. The US government has advised owners of home and small business routers to restart them to neuter a particularly nasty strain of Russian malware that has exploited hundreds of thousands of devices.

The FBI is recommending any owner of small office and home office routers immediately power cycle (reboot) the devices.

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

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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 attack is said to be from some Russian actors and devices in more than 50 countries have been affected by it.

Users with infected routers can remove the unsafe Stage 2 and Stage 3 components of VPNFilter by rebooting the device. Hackers wrote the program to target small office and home routers by companies such as LinkSys, Netgear, and TP-Link.

The FBI wants anyone with a home or office router to turn it off, and then turn it back on. Now, those attempts will be redirected to the FBI-controlled server, which will help identify infected devices. Also, Network devices should be upgraded to the latest available versions of firmware.

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