Why Everybody Should Restart Their Router

Raise your hand if you know the FBI directive for citizens to restart their routers. Raise your hand if you have really restarted yours. If you have no idea what we are talking about or why you should worry, even a little bit, let's analyze it.

Most houses have routers configured for Internet service, but once installed, we really do not give them much importance. However, last week, the FBI issued a Public Service Announcement ordering us to restart our office and home routers. The reason? A suspicious malware.

The announcement warns that possibly hundreds of thousands of routers and storage devices accessing the network could be infected with malware, leaving them inoperable. This means running out of Internet. The figures from the Justice Department say that more than half a million devices have already been affected worldwide by the VPN Filter malware.

It is believed that this malware is related to Russian intelligence hackers. In addition to being able to leave devices inoperable, it also has the ability to steal passwords and login information. Security specialists have discovered that Netgear, MikroTik, TP-Link and Linksys devices are among the infected.

According to the Department of Justice, the group responsible for this attack is the Sofacy Group, which has a series of aliases. They are not new to web attacks and have been targeting governments, companies and military agencies for years.

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The Department of Justice investigation has uncovered domain information that will help identify the sources of cyber attacks and victims. However, instead of waiting to know if you have been attacked, you must lower your own risk.

Updating your router will eliminate infectious malware, and the FBI also recommends disabling remote management settings on your device. If you do, you will eliminate the second and third stages of the malware, which takes place in three stages.

The first stage acts as an anchor and opens the door for the second and third parties to take root. Updating your device will provide the best security protections to ensure it is not vulnerable.

So, what steps do you need to take? The fastest thing is to unplug it, wait a few minutes and plug it back in again. For devices that have an application, go the extra mile and install all the updates. If you're not sure how to do it, check with your device's manufacturer or the Internet service provider for instructions.

If you have an older router, running for more than a decade, you may want to replace it with a more current one. Technology is very useful, but it is important that you protect yourself to maintain that convenience.

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