Federal Bureau of Investigation alerts consumers to restart router over hacking concerns

01 June, 2018, 00:26 | Author: Leah Owens
  • FBI urges people to reboot routers to thwart hackers

Clearly, it's a sophisticated piece of tech; the Federal Bureau of Investigation attributes the malware to "foreign cyber actors" and The New York Times reports that it's of Russian origin, with the Justice Department linking it to the Sofacy Group.

An analysis by Cisco's Talos threat intelligence division predicts the malware has affected as many as half a million devices in 54 countries.

Officials say VPNFilter is able to renter routers inoperable, and can potentially collect information passing through the router. Along with routers made by Linksys, Netgear, TP-Link and Mikrotik, network-attached storage devices (NAS) made by QNAP have also been targeted. Attackers have the option to destroy a single device or wipe out all infected devices at once.

"No other vendors, including Cisco, have been observed as infected by VPNFilter, but our research continues", according to Cisco Talos, which first reported the bug.

The Kremlin on Thursday denied the Ukrainian government's accusation that Russian Federation was planning a cyber attack on Ukrainian state bodies and private companies ahead of the Champions League soccer final in Kiev on Saturday. The Ukraine also blames Russian Federation for the NotPetya attacks that occurred previous year. One step that was not mentioned is the fact that the only way to truly remove VPNFilter is to reset the router to factory defaults.

What can I do to protect myself from VPNFilter? The agency also recommends disabling your routers' remote-management settings and updating the password you use to access your router's settings.

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Justice Department seeks to thwart VPNFilter, a malware program that's linked to Russian Federation.

While Stage 1 will run again after a router is rebooted, Stage 2 and 3 will not. Stage one is like herpes, it remains with your router forever and can be re-infected.

He says the best thing you can do to disrupt VPNFilter is to unplug your router and let it reboot.

As for how the infection started-nobody is sure. So while the most malicious components will be disabled, VPNFilter will still be present on your device.

After resetting the device, you'll need to log in to its administrative page using a Web browser.

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