Federal Bureau of Investigation suggests to turn off internet routers worldwide as malware creates havoc

Ransomware attacks global IT systems

The FBI is urging Americans to reboot their office and home internet routers to prevent them from being compromised by "foreign cyber actors".

That's because at least 500,000 routers and other devices worldwide have been infected by sophisticated malware that likely comes from Russian state-sponsored hackers, as Cisco Talos labs disclosed last week.

VPNFilter is malware that targets routers and NAS devices in order to steal files, information, and examine network traffic as it flows through the device.

VPNFilter "is unlike most other IoT threats because it is capable of maintaining a persistent presence on an infected device, even after a reboot", Symantec says. 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. Visit your router manufacturer's website for additional information.

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For most devices, rebooting requires unplugging the device for at least 10 seconds, plugging it back in, and then waiting approximately 30 seconds before restarting the device. Take your router, turn it off, and turn it on again. Turn off the device. 2. The U.S. Department of Justice points the finger at the so-called Sofacy Group, also known as A.P.T 28 and Fancy Bear - hackers who operate under the guidance of Russia's military intelligence agency.

To protect yourself you should reboot the router. The FBI has already received permission to seize a web domain critical to controlling the malware. That's one of the things the Federal Bureau of Investigation is asking people to do to help thwart a cyberattack it says agents of a foreign government are launching against USA citizens.

Most older routers lack an automatic firmware update mechanism, so they're usually full of security holes.

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