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

POOLCISCO

This software is nasty, able to collect data travelling over the router and even killing the device if so desired.

Hoping to thwart a sophisticated malware system linked to Russian Federation that has infected hundreds of thousands of internet routers, the F.B.I. has made an urgent request to anybody with one of the devices: Turn it off for 30 seconds, and then turn it back on. The malware reportedly targets several manufacturers and network-attacked storage (NAS) devices by at least one manufacturer. To do that, use a pen or pencil to hold the reset button on the back of the router.

The Justice Department has linked the malware to a cyber espionage group that's been called Sofacy, APT 28 or fancy bear by researchers in the cybersecurity industry.

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Talos, in its blog post Wednesday, said that the computer code used in the malware shows significant overlap with a malware that was responsible for multiple large-scale attacks that targeted devices in Ukraine. This features allows users to configure Wi-Fi and network devices remotely.

"Potentially anybody with an internet connection, whether it's in the home or the business, could be impacted", said Luis Valdes, assistant director of technology and cybersecurity at the Florida Center for Cybersecurity.

In what might sound like the world's worst internet joke that turned out to be terrifyingly real, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has asked everyone - no, not just you but everyone - to restart their routers.

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The FBI has reportedly seized a domain that was controlling the malware, which makes rebooting an effective way to thwart VPNFilter.

The cyber infiltration, which The New York Times reported is believed to have come under the direction of Russia's military intelligence agency, affected an estimated 500,000 devices. Doing so can make it harder for attackers to access the vulnerability.

"In your house, TVs, thermostats, everything talks to the internet, so go to your router and you should always once a month download whatever the new software is".

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Experts are still trying to learn all that VPNFilter is built to do, but for now they know it can do two things well: Steal Web site credentials; and issue a self-destruct command, effectively rendering infected devices inoperable for most consumers.

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