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FBI Advises Users To Reboot Their Routers

By June 11, 2018June 8th, 2022Cybersecurity

Cisco’s Talos Security Team has identified a new threat, and it’s a nasty one impacting more than half a million consumer-grade routers in the US.  According to the Talos Team’s report, the new malware is impacting a broad cross-section of routers made by TP-Link, QNAP, Netgear, Mikrotik, and Linksys.

Known as “VPNFilter,” the malware currently infecting routers appears to be the first stage in a multi-phase attack, with the first segment allowing the hackers to collect a wide range of communications data and slave the device to launch attacks on others.  The code also contains a kill command that allows the hackers to destroy the device at will.

As of now, the FBI has already taken swift action and has seized a domain used by the hackers as a means to deliver the later stages of the attack. They report that the primary and secondary means of further infection have been dismantled.  They also report, however, that the hackers still have a fallback method of infection, which relies on sending “poisoned” data packets to each infected device.

Based on an evaluation of the code and the presence of redundant mechanisms for delivering the later stages of the infection, the code has been traced to a Russian hacking group with deep ties to the Russian government.  The group is known by a variety of names, including Fancy Bear, Sofacy, APT 28, and Pawn Storm.

On the heels of seizing the domain, the FBI released a statement that includes:

“The FBI recommends any owner of small office and home office routers reboot the devices to temporarily disrupt the malware and aid the potential identification of infected devices.  Owners are advised to consider disabling remote management settings on devices and secure with strong passwords and encryption when enabled.  Network devices should be upgraded to the latest available versions of firmware.”

Jason Manteiga

Jason J. Manteiga, Vice President of Olmec Systems, has been part of the company for over the past 20 years. He believes that having a great work environment and supportive team, is the ultimate key to success. Since being in the IT realm for over 25 years, Jason, along with Olmec Systems, has been on the Inc. 5000 “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and Channel Futures MSP 501 “Top Managed Service Providers in North America,” along with other awards and nominations. Jason earned his Bachelor Degree in Information Systems from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also holds certifications in Microsoft MCSE, VMWare VCP, and Cisco CCNA. In his spare time, Jason is a contributor for The Center for Social & Legal Research (Privacy Exchange) and a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include cycling and kayaking. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters and son.