Federal Bureau of Investigation to all router users: Reboot now to stop Russia-linked malware

A computer screen shows a Wiki Leaks logo

The FBI is warning people of a nationwide hack.

The hackers used VPNFilter malware to target small office and home office routers, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said.

Sofacy, also known as APT28 and Fancy Bear, has been blamed for numerous most dramatic Russian hacks, including that of the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 US presidential campaign. The group is believed to be directed by Russia's military intelligence. Fancy Bear is perhaps most famous for the spear phishing attack that led to the theft of 50,000 emails from Clinton advisor John Podesta in 2016.

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According to a report by arstechnica, the malware has infected at least 500,000 devices in the U.S. According to researchers from the security team at Cisco's Talos, the malware was most likely developed and launched by hackers working for "an advanced nation", which could be Russian Federation. Some QNAP NAS boxes are also vulnerable to infection. 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.

Updating your router's firmware is always a good measure as well.

Change your router password to a strong one, if it isn't already. It can also brick the router remotely if it receives a command to do so. Compromised devices, however, remain infected. The easiest way is to unplug it, wait a minute, and plug the router back in. FBI urging public to reboot routers to stop Russian malware The bureau said it was able to take down a website that was controlling the malware before the second phase could be unleashed.

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