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By LTC Steven Howard, U.S. Army (Ret.)
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recently released a public service announcement to millions of Americans. All citizens are encouraged to reboot their routers or gateways.
The Russian hacker group known as “Fancy Bear” has recently used a malware program called “VPN Filter.” It affects home and small-office routers.
Neutralizing the Malware Threat to Routers
The FBI has studied the malware since last August and has devised a solution to neutralize the malicious behavior. Using a court order, the FBI has been able to seize the Internet domain associated with the Russian hackers.
After a reboot, the malware is designed to go back online and reload the applets. Since the FBI now controls the domain, a simple reboot disables the malware even if it still resides on your router.
Since the disabled malware remains in millions of routers, the FBI says that it is crucial that users patch their devices when prompted by the manufacturer. Another option is to enable automatic firmware updates.