MASON CITY, Iowa - The FBI is issuing a notice for internet users to reset and reboot their routers and change their passwords. This comes after discovering Russian malware that can secretly install itself into routers and collect data from the user.
The agency has been tracking a piece of malware called VPN Filter, which can slow internet speed or even render a router inoperable.
Ryan Matthew Allen is the owner of Dungeon PC in Clear Lake, and has been in business for nearly 10 years. He's noticed that after users set up their internet connection, a router is often overlooked.
What's concerning is a virus could actually be inside a router for years without you knowing it.
Allen agrees with the FBI's statement, and while it may seem time consuming, he strongly encourages users to reset and reboot.
"I think that it's a fantastic idea. If they've got some implementation that they've set up in order to thwart this attack from Russia or wherever they're saying its coming from, they've got a large cybersecurity division in the government here, and they know what they're doing much more than I would or anyone else."
If you go through an internet service provider such as Mediacom and are renting a router from them, Allen suggests contacting your provider before doing any resetting.
He also has some advice for those who may have an old router, which are the most susceptible to being hacked.
"If you've got a really old router that you purchased yourself, let's get it upgraded. Security updates and whatnot have changed quite a bit, every year they're changing and they're changing fast."
It is estimated that 500,000 networking devices worldwide could be affect by VPN Filter.
To reset your router, it is suggested to reset it to its default factory settings and change your password to something stronger., as well as updating the router's software.
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