In May, the FBI released a statement saying that people should reset their home or office routers immediately due to a new threat of cyberattack from foreign attackers. Sounds like the beginning of a very strange, tech-savvy action movie? Maybe. But the threat is in fact very real.
Digital Trends reported that a type of malware infected more than 500,000 routers used in homes and small businesses in more than 50 countries, including the United States. The threat was supposedly traced back to a group connected to the Russian government, making this development all the more strange and intriguing.
Is this something that everyone should take seriously, or is it just one of those tech tips that security experts recommend all the time, but the majority of people don’t always follow up on? Even if you’re someone who is generally pretty relaxed about your digital security, this is one threat you need to take to heart.
The VPNFilter malware was discovered by Cisco’s security researchers, according to Digital Trends, and it impacts routers made by Linksys, Mikrotik, Netgear, QNAP, and TP-Link — some very popular brands. You probably have a router with one of those brand names in your home or office right now.
Since it’s not clear just how compromised devices were infected to begin with, officials are urging users of all routers and NAS devices to reboot their devices, and not just owners of the devices identified by Cisco. In a statement, FBI officials warned, according to Digital Trends: “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.”
So yes, you definitely should take this digital security threat very seriously. The FBI would not be getting involved in this way if it were a more minor matter.
If you’re really not sure whether your devices and all your digital gadgets are as secure as possible, one wise step you can take is to seek the guidance of a digital technology and email security expert like Thierry LeVasseur. People in the business know what they’re doing, and can better identify exactly where your weak spots are that could be open to nefarious digital breaches.
The FBI’s recent warning about cybersecurity and protecting your digital devices is no laughing matter. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so if you haven’t done it yet, go reboot your router. Seriously, go right now! Your next game of Candy Crush can wait.