Sunday, June 3, 2018

FBI: Reboot your router to stop Russia-linked malware

[No, this has nothing to do with the environment (although possibly with politics) but we recognize it as important enough to call to the attention of  all our readers. Heed the FBI's warning and reboot your router. It only takes a few minutes and could save you a lot of grief--and cause some for Russian hackers. Wouldn't that be nice? -- Editor]

Louis Lucero II reports for the New York Times:

Hoping to thwart a sophisticated malware system linked to Russia that has infected hundreds of thousands of internet routers, the F.B.I. has made an urgent request to anybody with one of the devices: Turn it off, and then turn it back on.

The malware is capable of blocking web traffic, collecting information that passes through home and office routers, and disabling the devices entirely, the bureau announced on Friday.

A global network of hundreds of thousands of routers is already under the control of the Sofacy Group, the Justice Department said last week. That group, which is also known as A.P.T. 28 and Fancy Bear and believed to be directed by Russia’s military intelligence agency, hacked the Democratic National Committee ahead of the 2016 presidential election, according to American and European intelligence agencies.

The F.B.I. has several recommendations for any owner of a small office or home office router. The simplest thing to do is reboot the device, which will temporarily disrupt the malware if it is present. Users are also advised to upgrade the device’s firmware and to select a new secure password. If any remote-management settings are in place, the F.B.I. suggests disabling them.

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