It is rare that the US Government asks everyone to do something, and it can be challenging to get that word out. The following was recommended by the FBI in a Public Service Announcement (PSA) today, 25 May 2018, in response to dangerous malware:
The FBI recommends any owner of small office and home office routers reboot the devices to temporarily disrupt the malware and aid the potential identification of infected devices.
To read the complete PSA, go here. The contents of that PSA are copied below.
May 25, 2018
Questions regarding this PSA should be directed to your local FBI Field Office.
Local Field Office Locations: www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field
Foreign Cyber Actors Target Home and Office Routers and Networked Devices Worldwide
The FBI recommends any owner of small office and home office routers power cycle (reboot) the devices. Foreign cyber actors have compromised hundreds of thousands of home and office routers and other networked devices worldwide. 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.
The size and scope of the infrastructure impacted by VPNFilter malware is significant. The malware targets routers produced by several manufacturers and network-attached storage devices by at least one manufacturer. The initial infection vector for this malware is currently unknown.
VPNFilter is able to render small office and home office routers inoperable. The malware can potentially also collect information passing through the router. Detection and analysis of the malware’s network activity is complicated by its use of encryption and misattributable networks.
The FBI recommends any owner of small office and home office routers reboot the devices to temporarily disrupt the malware and aid the potential identification of infected devices. Owners are advised to consider disabling remote management settings on devices and secure with strong passwords and encryption when enabled. Network devices should be upgraded to the latest available versions of firmware.