Federal Bureau of Investigation urging people to reboot routers, due to malware threat

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The FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) sent out a public service announcement saying, "foreign cyber actors have compromised hundreds of thousands of home and office routers and other networked devices worldwide".

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

After it was reported that the VPNFilter botnet consisting of over 500,000 routers and NAS devices was taken over by the U.S. government, the Federal Bureau of Investigation issued an advisory stating that users should reboot their routers in order to disrupt the malware.

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The FBI took control of a website the malware operates through, and is asking people to reboot their routers to disrupt any existing connections.

People should also consider disabling remote-management settings, changing passwords and upgrading to the latest firmware.

US law enforcement officials have already acted to help disrupt the VPNFilter malware and its associated botnet. According to Cisco Talos, there are at least 500,000 infected devices in at least 54 countries.

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A reboot should also destroy part of the malware. Magid tells ABC7 News that rebooting a home router is simple.

Cisco Talos listed the definitively affected routers as the Linksys E1200, E2500 and WRVS4400N; the Netgear DGN2200, R6400, R7000, R8000, WNR1000 and WNR2000; and the TP-Link TL-R600VPN SafeStream VPN router. The devices should then be secured with passwords and encryption. "If someone has access to your network they are going to see any information that you are passing through", he explains.

How can you protect yourself from malware that might be lurking in your router? The group is suspected of operating out of Russian Federation and has also been implicated in the 2016 attack against the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Most devices in homes and businesses come equipped with default credentials which are easily stolen by hackers.

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