Warning: Reboot routers to avoid Russia-linked malware

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Photo: NBC Dallas-Fort Worth Photo: NBC Dallas-Fort Worth

(WAND) – The FBI says potentially dangerous malware is infecting routers across America.

Investigators have identified the problem as something called VPNFilter. It’s already linked to Russian hackers. More than 500,000 routers are believed to already be compromised, according to NBC News.

The FBI is now asking people to reboot their routers in an effort to stop the virus from spreading further. In a bulletin released in the last week, the organization said home and officer routers have the highest risk of infection.

The bulletin says VPNFilter can make router devices “inoperable”, adding that the malware can take personal information from those devices. Investigators believe hackers might plan to use the routers to launch a larger cyber attack in America.

Rebooting has the potential to slow down the spread of VPNFilter and allow investigators to identify more devices that are infected. As an added security measure, it’s recommended that people reset their router to factory settings, change to a strong password, upgrade to the latest firmware and disable remote management settings.

NBC News reports Talos, the security branch of Cisco, discovered routers made by Linksys, MikroTik, Netgear and TP-Link are some, but not all, of the router brands known to be at risk.

Security experts told the network it is unclear what the Russia-linked group intends to do with the malware.

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