The FBI has issued a warning, telling Americans to reboot their home routers due to “foreign cyber actors” compromising hundreds of thousands of routers.
Your router is the device which provides WiFi to your home.
According to the FBI alert, the actors used VPNFilter malware to target small office and home office routers. The malware is able to perform multiple functions, including possible information collection, device exploitation, and blocking network traffic.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Russia is behind the mass infection, and that they appear to have been gearing up to use infected routers for a massive cyber attack against Ukraine.
The malware can also steal your personal information, such as passwords, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Cisco security researcher Craig Williams told the Wall Street Journal, “They’re clearly targeting Ukraine. The fact that we saw this being spun up so quickly is evidence that something is being planned.”
The FBI has said that rebooting your router will remove the infection from currently-infected routers.
If you are unsure how to reboot your router, simply unplug it for 10 seconds and then plug it back in. Your internet may go down for a couple of minutes while the router reboots.
There may be a reset button on your router which could remove all of your router settings if pressed. It’s recommended that you don’t press buttons on your router unless you know what you are doing.
In order to prevent future infection, the FBI recommends making sure you use a secure password, consider disabling remote management, and ensure that your router is properly updated to the latest firmware.
Please share this alert with your friends and family to let them know.