A new piece of Russian malware that can destroy consumers’ routers has the FBI warning users to restart their devices. But that won’t necessarily ensure that your router doesn’t become reinfected.
To inoculate your device, your best bet is to download the latest firmware. It might sound scary, but it’s surprisingly easy to do on your own.
From Russia, with love
The malware, according to The Justice Department, comes by way of the group known as Fancy Bear, which is believed to operate as part of Russia’s military intelligence service. If left untreated, the software could be used to monitor any traffic that goes across your router, surveil basically anything you do online, block certain websites or destroy your device entirely.
About 500,000 devices around the world are said to be infected with the malware, which could be used to form a network of zombie devices that could take down websites by overloading their servers.
To protect your router, you can download the appropriate firmware through its manufacturer’s website. It’s recommended that you connect the computer from which you’re installing the update directly to your router using an ethernet cable to prevent any connection issues between the devices.
Owners of Linksys routers can find the latest firmware on Linksys’s support website. You then have to type the following IP address into your browser’s address bar: 192.168.1.1 before heading over to the Administration tab. From there, you’ll need to select firmware upgrade, choose the firmware you downloaded and install it.
MikroTik router owners can update their firmware via the RouterOS software, making upgrading relatively straightforward.
TP-Link router users should visit TP-Link’s download center website to download the appropriate firmware. You’ll then need to access your router by going to tplinkwifi.net and entering your username and password. From there, you can install the firmware to update your device.
According to Cisco’s Talos Intelligence Group, potentially infected devices include the following:
Once you’ve installed the appropriate patch for your system, you should be protected from any potential malware. In fact, you should regularly download software updates for all of your devices, as well as the operating devices for your computer or phone. Doing so should save you plenty of headaches in the future.
More from Dan: