Federal Bureau of Investigation alerts consumers to restart router over hacking concerns

FBI urges people to reboot routers to thwart hackers

FBI urges people to reboot routers to thwart hackers

The malware is able to collect information, exploit devices and block network traffic, according to the release.

A massive router malware attack has been spotted by security experts, infecting many home routers around the world, and there's a very good chance yours is one of them. Upon rebooting, stage one calls out to the now-seized website for instructions, which allows the Federal Bureau of Investigation to identify the infected device.

Stage 1 is installed first and allows the malware to stay persistent even when the router is rebooted.

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"Foreign cyber actors have gotten into hundreds of thousands of wireless routers and they have the potential to obtain a person's information passing through so that is the real threat", Hudson explains. According to Cisco Talos, there are at least 500,000 infected devices in at least 54 countries. The malware attack targets routers and is under investigation by the FBI. Some models from Linksys, Mikrotik, Netgear, QNAP and TP-Link - mostly older ones - may be affected. The FBI has already received permission to seize a web domain critical to controlling the malware. "They're created to be remotely accessed, so in a sense, these are houses with front doors where they may be locked but they're not locked as securely as we might like them to be because they have to things - bytes - in and out", said technology analyst Larry Magid. The IP addresses are then being shared with the nonprofit ShadowServer Foundation, which is working with service providers to remediate the malware infections. The FBI also advised owners to disable remote management settings on devices and make sure their passwords are secure.

Below is a list of routers Symantec identified as vulnerable to VPNFilter. Most devices in homes and businesses come equipped with default credentials which are easily stolen by hackers.

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