Last Friday, the FBI issued a report recommending that everyone roboot their routers. . The reason? "Foreign cyber actors have compromised hundreds of thousands of home and office routers and other networked devices worldwide."
A newly discovered threat called VPNfilter has infected over half a million routers and network devices, according to researchers from Cisco's Talos Intelligence Group.
VPNFilter is "able to render small office and home office routers inoperable," the FBI stated. "The malware can potentially also collect information passing through the router."
Unfortunately, there's no easy way to tell if your router has been compromised by VPNFilter. The FBI notes only that "the malware targets routers produced by several manufacturers and network-attached storage devices by at least one manufacturer."
Those manufacturers are as follows: Linksys, Mikrotik, Netgear, QNAP and TP-Link. However, Cisco's report states that only a small number of models — just over a dozen in total — from those manufacturers are known to have been affected by the malware, and they're mostly older ones:
Linksys: E1200, E2500, WRVS4400N
Mikrotik: 1016, 1036, 1072
Netgear: DGN2200, R6400, R7000, R8000, WNR1000, WNR2000
QNAP: TS251, S439 Pro, other QNAP NAS devices running QTS software
So will a reboot work? Short answer is "it can't hurt" but really it won't fix the issue if your router is in fact infected. According to the FBI's PSA regarding VPNFilter, the reboot recommendation is not intended to remove the malware, but rather to "temporarily disrupt (it) and aid the potential identification of infected devices."
So how can you fix this issue and make sure you are safe. The best way to fix this issue if you have an older router is to do a complete reset of the router itself. Usually this can be done by pressing the small reset button on the router and holding it in for a few seconds. Of course once you do this then you have to setup your network and password again and then reconnect all your WiFi devices in your home and office.
The second thing you should always do is make sure your router has the latest firmware and is up to date. We can help you with this and can make sure your router is safe and up to date. Just give us a call and we can remote in to help.