FBI Warns About Hackers Infecting Routers to Collect Information

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The government suggests turning off your router for at least five seconds and turning it on again should disable the malware. So protecting your computer against further intrusion is as simple as rebooting your router. Upgrading the router's firmware and changing the password will also help secure your device.

If, like millions of Americans, you have a router in your home or office, it might already be infected by Russian malware named VPNFilter.

While it might sound like a bad Facebook post, it's true: The FBI wants you to reset (power cycle) your home or small office router.

They say Russian hackers have compromised hundreds of thousands of private home devices in an effort to get into networks and see data.

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The malware is capable of blocking web traffic, collecting information that passes through home and office routers, and disabling the devices entirely, the bureau announced Friday. "The initial infection vector for this malware is now unknown". Now that the domain is under Federal Bureau of Investigation control, any attempts by the malware to reinfect a compromised router will be bounced to an Federal Bureau of Investigation server that can record the IP address of the affected device.

If left unattended, the malware has the potential to render routers completely inoperable. Talos, the threat intelligence agency for Cisco, estimated that 500,000 devices in 54 countries have been infected. The malware is able to monitor local traffic on the routers and even wipe the routers to cut off users from the Internet, according to Fortune.

The security experts added that the most vulnerable devices were manufactured by Linksys, Mikrotik, Netgear, QNAP and TP-Link.