Federal Bureau of Investigation warns of cyber threat targeting small businesses, reboot your router

A plugged in computer router

Rebooting will disable the malware only temporarily, but that's OK: The bureau has seized a key web domain connected with the attack and will be able to detect the IP address of routers that hackers are attempting to re-infect.

However, the most worrying capability is that malware allows its controllers to wipe a portion of an infected device's firmware, rendering it useless. The cyberattack was discovered by Cisco's Talos division, which said at least 500,000 routers in 54 countries have been infected. QNAP storage devices are also known to be affected. The most affected country is Ukraine, which recently has been the battleground for many such attacks originating from Russian Federation.

To protect yourself you should reboot the router. Foreign cyber actors have compromised hundreds of thousands of home and office routers and other networked devices worldwide.

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According to a release from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the foreign actors used "VPNFilter malware" to attack small office and home office routers.

The U.S. Justice Department said the malware "could be used for a variety of malicious purposes, including intelligence gathering, theft of valuable information, destructive or disruptive attacks, and the misattribution of such activities". In addition, router owners are advised to consider disabling remote management settings on devices, and secure with strong passwords and encryption when enabled.

See: What is phishing? "There is no indication at present that the exploit of zero-day vulnerabilities is involved in spreading the threat", wrote Symantec researchers.

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