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FBI Says Restart Your Router!

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“The Malware Can Potentially Collect Information Passing Through The Router. Detection & Analysis Is Complicated By Its Use Of Encryption and Missatributable Networks”

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F.B.I Reports Over 500,000 Routers Compromised

According to the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation, there’s malware on over 50,000 routers made by Linksys, MikroTic, Netgear, QNAP and TP-Link. This means if you have any of the routers listed above, you were or might be exposed or vulnerable to the malware.

According to a Cisco post based on their research this has something to do with the alleged 500,000 routers compromised by a Russian security group that goes by the names of Fancy Bear and Apt28. The malware ( as stated in the Official FBI report ) has the ability to disable office and home routers meaning civilians and small/large businesses are more likely affected rather than large businesses. There could be exceptions though.

How Bad Is It?

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The malware currently has multiple stages and has to ability to collect your social media passwords, login information and other things like personal information, files and documents. Despite it being at the current stage of its lifecycle you’re still able to get rid of it. Keep reading to find out how to remove the malware from your router.

How Can I Tell If I’m A Victim?

There aren’t a lot of immediate ways tell if your routers been infected. One thing I recommend doing is investigating your router settings. Since the malware itself can collect login information, passwords and activity you should look for changes that enable remote access or a filter that tunnels your data.

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If you aren’t sure about your router being infected the government recommends you reset your router. You can also restore your router to the factory settings which would completely wipe any malicious settings involving your router. You can also check below for my guide on securing your computer and learning safe internet habits.

Staying Safe

As usual staying safe on the internet and using it responsibly should be your number one priority at all times. To protect yourself and prevent malware/viruses you have to secure your computer and practice safe internet habits. If you’re not familiar with “Secure Habits” I mentioned it here. ■

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Security

What Are Safe Internet Habits?

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What Are Safe Internet Habits?

What are “Safe Internet Habits”? Internet habits are a combination of decisions you make when using a computer and b. Safe Internet Habits are a combination of your decisions and determining weather it was a safe decision or a harmful one.

Learning How To Be Safe On The Internet

Let’s go over this list I made of things you’ll need to secure your computer. After you go over the list you’ll find out more about each one and how to utilize it.

  • Secure Browser
  • Anti-Virus
  • Secure Settings
  • Secure Habits
  • General Knowledge

I tried to make the list short so I could cover as much ground as possible. Below this is a brief summary of how each part plays a part in your safety, followed by instructions on making yourself safer with better decisions.

Secure Browser & Secure Settings

Let’s work on getting you a secure browser. I know you’ve heard of Chrome but let’s download Firefox. Firefox is a browser made by a non profit organization used for day to day activities.

  1. Click here to download Firefox.
  2. After Firefox downloads, press run.
  3. Install Firefox and create desktop shortcut.

The reason why I chose Firefox is because Firefox has proven to be one of the most reliable browsers to this day. Unlike Google, Firefox doesn’t collect unnecessary data from you to sell. Google Chrome is the “browser of choice” now a days but it collects your browser history, purchases, locations and just about everything else. That’s not safe.

Secure Your Settings & Get Add-ons

After installing Firefox we’re going to change a few settings and download some add-ons to make sure we’re safe while using the internet.

Open Firefox and click on options. The first thing we’re going to change is our search preferences. Click search and scroll down until you have the option to change your search engine to Bing or DuckDuckGo. I don’t recommend you use Google because we’re avoiding companies that collect and sell our information.

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Next you’ll be visiting the Privacy & Security tab. Look for “Cookies and Site Data” Change the setting to keep cookies until you close Firefox and only accept third party cookies from site you visited instead of always accepting them.

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Next, look for “Tracking Protection” option and change both settings to
Always”.

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Lastly you’ll find the Security option and see Deceptive Content and Dangerous Software Protection. Check all 3 boxes below so it looks like the picture below.

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What’s The Best Anti-Virus?

On the list there’s something called an “Anti-Virus”. An Anti-Virus is something that gets rid of and helps your computer prevent malware. You can find out more about them here but I’ll be letting you do your own research about them. I’ll be recommending a few and explaining what makes me recommend them to you.

  1. Kaspersky – One of the best Anti-Virus around.
  2. AVG – It a strong anti-virus that stands out from others.
  3. Avast – A free/paid anti-virus with lots of options

Secure Habits & General Knowledge

Good job getting this far. Now you’re going to learn about the most important part of practicing safe internet habits. The most important part is you. In order to be completely safe when using your computer you have to be cautious and aware what could happen.  Here’s a list of things you should ALWAYS use when using the internet. ■

  • Don’t give out numbers or addresses unless necessary
  • Be aware of scams, phishing links, downloads, etc.
  • Be cautious when downloading things.
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