Reboot your router to stop Russia-linked malware — FBI's urgent request

A plugged in computer router

The IT security experts at Cisco, who apparently detected the malware in the first place, also recommend users to reset the devices to factory settings to ensure that there is no trace of the malware.

Reuters added that the usa government would try to wrestle control of the infected routers after a Pennsylvania federal judge gave the FBI permission to seize an internet domain linked to the Russian hacking group known as Sofacy. VPNFilter has infected about half a million devices in more than 50 countries, including the United States, the Globe reported. The devices that were infected were produced by TP-Link, NETGEAR, Linksys, and MikroTik.

They stated that all owners of office and home routers should reboot their devices so that they would eliminate the threat of the malware.

This VPNFilter malware comes in three stages, and it's important to understand the difference.

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Once in, VPNFilter can collect data, run commands or disable the router.

Rebooting is a pretty easy process, usually requiring little more than holding down a reset button on the router, CNET explains. Cisco's researchers have stated that the malware is highly capable, expansive, dangerous, and robust.

So, now, when you reboot your router, it throws a kink in their system, essentially destroying the part of the malware that allows hackers to spy on your activities. Despite such a large coverage, it would seem that its main target was Ukraine.

According to researchers at Cisco Talos, the VPNFilter vulnerability exists in routers made by Linksys, MikroTik, Netgear, and TP-Link; because the list known to date may not be a complete list of all vulnerable models, because some users may not properly identify the model numbers of the devices that they use, and because rebooting a router is simple and usually takes under a minute, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is making the recommendation that everyone reboot regardless of what device he or she is using. It is also a good idea (both in general and to protect against VPNFilter) to keep your network devices up to date with the latest available, official firmware versions, as well as to disable remote management capabilities. Also, be wary of unusual Internet traffic that might indicate that something is not right. Any attempts by the malware to reinfect a compromised router will be bounced to an F.B.I. server that can record the I.P. address of the affected device.

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