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Reboot and secure your home router

 

As reported in The New York Times on Sunday, the FBI has issued a rather unusual warning to consumers across the country - “reboot your home router.”

 

The FBI issued this warning after seizing control of the web domain that acted as home base to control malware which is estimated to infect 500,000 home routers. Rebooting your router will disrupt any previous connection to the Russian military intelligence hackers that are believed to be behind it.  As reported in The New York Times, ”An analysis by Cisco’s threat intelligence division found that hundreds of thousands of routers, from a range of manufacturers, were infected by the malware linked to the hacking group Fancy Bear.

 

They also recommend that you make sure your router has a strong password (not the one that it came out of the box with), and that you update the router’s firmware (a non-trivial operation that you may need assistance with.)  

 

If you’re not even sure what a home router is, it is the small box that your cable provider or Telecom provider gave you that plugs into the coaxial or fiber connection that comes into your home. They often have antennas on them that provide Wi-Fi as well.  

Your home router is typically owned by your service provider, and you probably pay a small monthly fee like you do for a cable box.

 

If you want assistance in updating hour router’s password, contact your home service provider for assistance. If you want assistance in updating the firmware, look at the label to identify the make and model, and visit the manufacturer’s support site. You are also likely to have to contact your home service provider for assistance. 

 

Is this going to be a hassle? Yes, it is. But the internet can be a dangerous place, and the stakes are high if you’re doing your financial life online - as most of us are these days. This isn’t fake news - and it’s not that “the Russians are coming” - they are already here. This may help to keep them out of your house.