'I would take it very seriously': FBI warns of wireless router hack

Posted: 9:41 PM, May 29, 2018
Updated: 2018-05-30 03:28:01Z

The FBI is warning all owners of home or small office Internet routers to reboot them immediately.

In the memo recently sent out , the FBI said, “Foreign cyber actors have compromised hundreds of thousands of home and office routers and other networked devices worldwide.”

The announcement continues: “The actors used VPNFilter malware to target small office and home office routers. The malware is able to perform multiple functions, including possible information collection, device exploitation, and blocking network traffic.”

Alex Holden, the Chief Information Security Officer at Hold Security, LLC, said the Bureau is urging people who own routers to reset them as a way to disrupt the hack.

“Once somebody has control over your gateway to the Internet, they arguably have access to everything that transpires between you and the internet,” Holden said.

According to Holden, the best way to reboot a wireless router is to either turn it off or unplug it.

He recommends leaving the router turned off or unplugged for 60 seconds.

Holden added those wanting to be safe should also change their network password – especially if it’s still the same password a router came with from the factory.

“You should also disable any remote connectivity to your router from outside of your local network,” Holden said. “There is a setting in almost every router I’ve seen that will allow you to do that.”

Holden said the router attack is similar to previous hacks blamed on state-sponsored Russian groups.

Although he added the FBI hasn’t made any allegations.

“I think it’s too soon to make a full judgment about who’s behind this,” Holden said.

 Holden said it’s tough to tell if your computer and/or router has been impacted by the hack. But he said possible indicators could be slow Internet or frequent re-direction to suspicious websites.