FBI warning Americans about router hacking malware

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ST. LOUIS – The FBI is warning Americans about a Russian-backed malware capable of infecting the device that allows you to access the internet – your router.

This specific malware—given the name VPNFilter—targets routers and can potentially collect all information being passed through it and render your device inoperable. Routers typically do not have anti-virus or anti-malware protection, making them an easy target for hackers.

According to the FBI, hundreds of thousands of home and office routers have been infected. Talos, the cyber threat wing of tech giant Cisco, identified 500,000 infected devices in at least 54 countries.

Cybersecurity company Symantec compiled the following list of routers most susceptible to the malware:

  • Linksys E1200
  • Linksys E2500
  • Linksys WRVS4400N
  • Mikrotik RouterOS for Cloud Core Routers: Versions 1016, 1036, and 1072
  • Netgear DGN2200
  • Netgear R6400
  • Netgear R7000
  • Netgear R8000
  • Netgear WNR1000
  • Netgear WNR2000
  • QNAP TS251
  • QNAP TS439 Pro
  • Other QNAP NAS devices running QTS software
  • TP-Link R600VPN

The FBI recommends disconnecting your router for 30 seconds before rebooting the device to disrupt VPNFilter, changing the router’s password, and updating any firmware associated with the device.

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