Computer Experts and the FBI: Reboot Your Router to Stop New Malware
Computer Experts and the FBI Say “Reboot Your Router.”
The FBI and many computer experts are asking people to reboot their routers to help stop a new malware. According to multiple security firms, the malware called VPNFilter is targetting routers as well as network-attached storage (NAS) devices. It is currently unknown what the malware was designed to do, but it is likely made to create a botnet and potentially launch DDoS (dynamic denial of service) attacks that can temporarily take down websites, apps and other online services. Botnets can also be used to distribute malware, steal personal information, and slow down regional internet speeds among other things.
How to Reboot and Why It Helps
This malware can be gotten rid of by simply unplugging your router and plugging it back in. I know, it sounds simple, but it actually works. I’ll explain while trying not to get too technical. Routers are small computers connected to the internet. They have a processor and memory that allows them to do the job of routing information to different computers on a network. The VPNFilter malware exists in the memory of the router. When the router is unplugged, most of VPNFilter is cleared from memory. Prior to the FBI finding the malware, parts of it that remained on routers were able to force the routers to connect to an online photo service as well as a website that allowed it to download a new full version. The files on the online photo service as well as the website have been removed or are no longer accessible.
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