FBI: Reset your Router or Face Russian Malware
Recently the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued a critical warning for all Americans to reset their routers for homes and small businesses in an effort to disrupt a potential cyber attack. We sat down with Georgia Tech’s senior research scientist, Charles "Chaz" Lever, to find out just what this threat contains and how serious it can potentially be.
It’s not every day that the Federal Bureau of Investigation gives you an order.
On May 25 the FBI asked members of the public to turn off and turn back on their routers because of the spread of malware called “VPNFilter” created and distributed by the Russian hacker network Sofacy.
Georgia Tech Senior Research Scientist Charles “Chaz” Lever explained the damage this malware can do:
“This malware will affect the average user by using one of the capabilities in the malware to passively collect traffic. This can be used to harvest banking credentials or other sensitive password information that is going over the home network. Additionally, your home network could be hijacked to be part of an attack on a remote entity, masking the identity of the original user and potentially putting you in the crosshairs of law enforcement.”
In addition to just a simple reboot, Lever recommended following the manufacturer’s instructions on resetting the software in the device, also known as “firmware.”
Learn more about cybersecurity research at Georgia Tech by visiting the Institute for Information Security and Privacy.