A type of malware called VPNFilter could be sitting on your router at home. It steals data passed through the router, can make it non-functional and is very hard to detect. The threat is so concerning that the FBI has issued an advisory asking everyone to reboot their routers. Although there is a list of routers that are known to be affected, everyone is being asked to reboot all routers as a precaution. A reboot will not remove the malware from the device, but it will make it ineffective.
To ensure the malware is completely removed from your router:
- Reset the router to its factory defaults. Check the owner’s manual for instructions.
- Update the router’s firmware (software that runs the router).
- Change the default admin password (usually found on the sticker at the bottom of your router).
- Create a new wifi password.
- Make sure Remote Administration is disabled.
You can find your owner’s manual online by Googling the make and model of the router. To change the router settings on most devices, you enter a URL containing a bunch of numbers and dots into your browser’s address bar. This takes you to a login page. Your username and password are usually found on a sticker at the bottom of your router along with the URL. Once you have logged in to your router you can change the default admin password, create your wifi password, disable Remote Administration and update the firmware.
The good news is this process will completely remove the VPNFilter malware from your router. The bad news is once you reset it you will have to create a new wifi password and reconnect all your devices.