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

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

The FBI urged people to reboot their devices to temporarily disrupt the malware and help identify infected devices.

Rebooting is only a temporary solution, so owners of the affected routers should start looking for a more modern replacement.

The warning centers on malware known as VPNFilter, which the Federal Bureau of Investigation said can collect or delete sensitive information and render a device inoperable.

More information about the cyberthreat is available on the FBI's website.

Cisco Talos says the known affected devices are Linksys, MikroTik, NETGEAR and TP-Link networking equipment in the small and home office (SOHO) space, though they note their research is still not complete. The latter is a Russian intelligence team that American and European intelligence agencies say is responsible for the hacking of the Democratic National Committee prior to the 2016 elections.

More news: U.S. Officials Are Meeting With North Koreans in DMZ

Users with infected routers can remove the unsafe Stage 2 and Stage 3 components of VPNFilter by rebooting the device. An analysis by Cisco's threat intellgience group says that VPNFilter has already taken control of at least half a million routers in countries around the world.

The government suggests turning off your router for at least five seconds and turning it on again should disable the malware.

The feds are pinning this attack on Fancy Bear, a hacking group also known as APT28 and Sofacy Group, among other monikers. You should also disable remote administrative access if you can. This features allows users to configure Wi-Fi and network devices remotely. The U.S Department of Justice announced on May 23 that it seized the toknowwall.com internet domain that was suspected of hosting a command and control node for VPNFilter.

The best thing users can do now is make sure their routers are updated to the newest software.

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