Information Security Alert: FBI Issues PSA on Malware that Targets Home Routers and Home-based Networked Devices

The FBI of an ongoing cyber threat that targets users’ home routers and home-based networked devices has alerted NH universities.  The FBI recommends that all small office and home routers be rebooted to help protect against this threat.

Hundreds of thousands of home and office routers and other networked devices have already been compromised using malware called VPNFilter.  This malware does multiple things, including information collection, device exploitation, and network traffic blocking.

WHAT IS VULNERABLE?

The size and scope of the infrastructure with the potential to be impacted by this malware is significant. Encompassing routers produced by several manufacturers and network-attached storage devices by at least one manufacturer.  Currently, there is no information available on how the malware is getting onto these devices.

WHAT HAPPENS TO INFECTED DEVICES?

VPNFilter can render small office and home routers inoperable. It may also be able to collect information that is sent through the router.

WHAT ACTION SHOULD BE TAKEN?

The FBI recommends the following actions:

  • Owners of small office and home routers should reboot the devices as soon as possible to temporarily disrupt the malware and aid the potential identification of infected devices.
  • Owners are advised to consider disabling remote management settings on devices
  • Devices should be secured with strong passwords and encryption, if possible.
  • Router firmware should be updated to the latest available version.
  • Network devices should be upgraded to the latest available versions of firmware.