Researchers warn 500,000 consumer routers infected with malware

Security researchers warned of a “sophisticated” malware infecting an estimated 500,000 consumer routers worldwide.

According to a blog post from Cisco’s cyberintelligence unit Talos, known devices impacted by the “VPNFilter” malware include manufacturers Linksys, MikroTik, Netgear and TP-Link.

Talos said the malware can allow hackers to steal website credentials as well as render a router unusable, cutting off access to the Internet.

“Since the affected devices are legitimately owned by businesses or individuals, malicious activity conducted from infected devices could be mistakenly attributed to those who were actually victims of the actor,” reads the post from Talos.

Talos is encouraging owners of small and home office routers to reboot and reset them to factor defaults. They also are urging internet service providers to work with customers on making sure their routers are up to date with security patches.

Meanwhile, the Justice Department announced Wednesday efforts to disrupt a global botnet targeting government, military and security organizations.

“These hackers are exploiting vulnerabilities and putting every American’s privacy and network security at risk,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Bob Johnson in a statement.

Consumers can help protect themselves from malware on their routers by staying current on software updates and changing default passwords.