We talk a lot about software designed to attack our smartphones and computers, but it turns out your router might also be at risk. That’s right. Some dangerous new malware is going after the box you use to beam internet around your home or office.
Here’s what you need to know about the malware and how to keep your router protected.
VPNFilter is a new type of malware designed specifically to target internet routers. It’s capable of collecting communication information from your router, attacking other computers, and destroying your device remotely. According to Cisco, the malware has already infected over 500,00 routers around the world.
Not all routers are susceptible to VPNFilter, but a few of the major brands are at risk. Here’s the full list of devices (via Ars Technica):
There’s no easy way to check if your router is already infected, but if your model is included in the list above, you shouldn’t take any risks. The easiest (and only) way to fully remove VPNFilter is to do a factory reset. Typically, that involves pressing down the power button for 5-10 seconds, but you may want to double check based for your specific router model.
If you don’t want to do a full factory reset (which can clear important data from the device), you can also simply reboot your router. This won’t kill VPNFilter entirely, but it will drop the malware back to its initial stage and buy you some time.
Once you’ve wiped your router, there are few ways to keep yourself protected moving forward.
First, make sure you’re running the latest firmware by logging into your router account in an internet browser and checking for updates. You should also change the admin password for an extra layer of protection.
Finally, make sure that remote management is turned off. This will block hackers from controlling your router without your permission. That should keep you safe from any future malware attacks as well.