Federal Bureau of Investigation recommends rebooting internet routers to counter Russia-linked malware

A plugged in computer router

The easiest way to protect your internet connection is to simply reboot your router.

What's more disconcerting is that the malware has the power to wipe out portions of the routers' firmware, which renders them useless.

Reuters previously noted that Cisco said the largest number of infections from the VPNFilter malware were in Ukraine, which led it to believe Russian Federation was planning an attack on that country.

The feds are pinning this attack on Fancy Bear, a hacking group also known as APT28 and Sofacy Group, among other monikers. It can collect information, exploit devices, and block web traffic.

The actors used VPNFilter malware to target small office and home office routers.

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Technology conglomerate Cisco's Talos Intelligence researchers revealed in a report last week that 500,000 routers made by Linksys, MikroTik, Netgear, and TP-Link had been infected with VPNFilter.

The FBI has reportedly seized a domain that was controlling the malware, which makes rebooting an effective way to thwart VPNFilter. It is suspected to have ties to Russian Federation and, for several years, has been suspected of malicious targeting of sensitive technology used by government, the military, utility companies and others. The more unsafe stages, two and three, can be removed with a reboot. The FBI has taken steps so any attempts to re-infect a device will be bounced to an FBI server which will record and track the associated IP addresses. When it comes to malware, there has been a growing trend in recent years for attacks to make use of what is known as "file-less malware"-malware that resides in memory and doesn't use a specific malware executable that is stored on disk in order to run".

What the Federal Bureau of Investigation doesn't yet know is how VPNFilter is getting on people's systems. "However, if infected, the continuing presence of Stage 1 means that Stages 2 and 3 can be reinstalled by the attackers". The second stage of the attack is the malware, which doesn't survive a system reboot.

If you see an option to reboot from the home page of your settings, click it to reboot your router.

Meanwhile, they say users of their products should keep their devices updated with the latest firmware, and change their router's default admin password.

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