The FBI Says to Reboot Your Router – We Should Probably Listen
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has released a public service announcement warning people to reset their router as soon as possible. A wireless internet router can be reset by simply turning it off and back on again.
The FBI is urging all households and businesses to do the simple reboot to avoid being compromised by Russian-linked cyber attackers. CBS News reports that the attackers are using VPNFilter Malware to gain access to consumer routers and making them inoperable.
The FBI warns, "The malware can potentially also collect information passing through the router. Detection and analysis of the malware’s network activity is complicated by its use of encryption and misattributable networks."
I really don't know what the last part of that sentence means but "misattributable" sounds quite official.
According to the press release, the VPNFilter malware can affect routers made by Linksys, Mikrotik and Netgear.
Again, the fix is as easy as turning it off and back on. Some security experts recommend a factory-reset is the only sure-fire way to make sure it hasn't been compromised. For an extra "screw you, Russians" unplug and replug the router as well. As long as we're playing Rambo on these hackers, we should change the password as well. Make it a strong one. Who knows how many neighbors are sucking the teat of your wi-fi.
The official announcement by the FBI says that the "size and scope of the infrastructure impacted by VPNFilter malware is significant" and can be viewed here.