Turn off, on routers to protect against Russian-linked malware

FBI urges people to reboot routers to thwart hackers

The FBI is recommending that both home users and businesses immediately reboot your routers and networked devices.

Reuters added that the us government would try to wrestle control of the infected routers after a Pennsylvania federal judge gave the FBI permission to seize an internet domain linked to the Russian hacking group known as Sofacy.

Now, U.S. intelligence officials believe the Russia-linked malware poses a threat to American internet users in a number of concerning ways. While cybersecurity experts are still analyzing VPNFilter in order to understand the full scope of its capabilities and intended mission, by this point in time there is agreement that, at a minimum, the malware lets criminals surreptitiously collect information (such as by stealing login and password information when people visit websites using the Internet connection provided by the router) as well as block network traffic and thereby render routers nonfunctional. That group, which is also known as APT 28 and Fancy Bear and believed to be directed by Russia's military intelligence agency, hacked the Democratic National Committee before the 2016 presidential election, according to USA and European intelligence agencies.

The analysis by Talos noted significant similarities between the computer code for VPNFilter and that of another type of malware called BlackEnergy.

Cisco's Talos cyberintelligence unit warned that it has a high level of confidence the Russian government has hacked at least 500,000 routers and storage devices in an attempt to cause another enormous cyberattack on Ukraine, Fox News reports. The announcement from the F.B.I. did not provide any details about where the criminals might be based and their motivations remain unknown.

Additionally, the IT specialists who identified the malware have confirmed the existence of a possible remote command via which the attackers can disable every device they want.

VPNFilter is a unsafe piece of malware.

Earlier, Cisco Systems Inc. said the hacking campaign targeted devices from Belkin International's Linksys, MikroTik, Netgear Inc, TP-Link and QNAP. The web domain toknowall.com, which was a critical part of the malware's "command-and-control infrastructure", is now under F.B.I. control. Also, the internet service providers should closely work with consumers to ensure that the routers in use are updated with security mechanisms.

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