FBI warns of active Russian cyberthreat

The FBI is warning that hundreds of thousands of home network devices worldwide are being compromised by a sophisticated Russian hacking scheme and the agency is advising owners to reboot these devices in an attempt to disrupt the malicious software.

The malware, known as VPNFilter, is unlike most other threats on networking equipment is a because it is capable of maintaining a persistent presence on an infected unit.

The law enforcement agency said foreign cyber actors are targeting routers in small or home offices with VPNFilter, described as a botnet — or a network of infected devices — experts and officials say has infected an estimated 500,000 devices worldwide.

“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,” the bureau’s cyber division wrote in a public alert.

“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.”

This public service announcement featuring actress Kirsten Vangsness, who plays tech-savvy FBI analyst Penelope Garcia on the show Criminal Minds, is intended to promote awareness of Internet crimes and scams and encourages the public to report suspected criminal cyber activity to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

 


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