FBI wants everyone to reboot their routers to avoid Russian-linked malware

The FBI issued a warning May 25 that Russian hackers infected hundreds of thousands of home and office routers with malware, which could collect user information or shut down network access, according to Reuters.

The agency is urging owners of several brands of routers to mitigate the threat by powering  them off and turning them on again, as well as downloading manufacturer updates.

The warning followed a court order in which the FBI seized a website that hackers planned to use to provide instructions for the hack. Although malicious communication was disabled, a number of routers were left infected.

The Justice Department, which obtained the court order, said the hackers were part of a group called Sofacy, which goes by several monikers including Fancy Bear and has been tied to the Russian government.

An FBI official said affected devices were likely purchased at electronic stores or online, though it is not ruling out routers provided by internet service companies. Cisco Systems said the hacking campaign likely targeted devices from Belkin International's Linksys, MikroTik, Netgear Inc, TP-Link and QNAP, according to Reuters.

The FBI is also encouraging people to consider disabling remote-management settings, changing passwords and upgrading to the latest firmware.

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