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VPNFilter Update: Worse than originally thought – Update and Reset Now

There has been multiple reporting over the weekend that the VPNFilter Router malware issue is worse than originally thought.  Whereas the original assessment was that VPNFilter enabled the hackers to use infected hardware to launch attacks elsewhere on the Internet, new analyses show that it can also target the end user’s data, even weakening security protocols (such as HTTPS, used when you visit your bank, email, and other “secure” accounts) and sending “payloads” in data streams in your network.  Furthermore, they have seen evidence that the malware can be enhanced through “plug-ins” that can give it additional capabilities.

ALL users of consumer/small-office routers need to perform a firmware update followed immediately by a factory reset.

Here are a couple of the articles that have been released that have more details and instructions.:

The 3rd article lists those routers currently known to be at risk as well as links to various manufacturers’ pages with instructions on how to do the reset.  Make sure that you follow the preparatory steps listed before doing the reset!

This is also a good opportunity to:

  • Change the WIFI Keys to a more secure key (12 characters minimum). (Tell the kids they have to finish chores to get the new key!)  Keep in mind you will have to update the WIFI key on all WIFI devices in the house.
  • Create a new password for the router, itself.

If you change the WIFI keys make sure that you make a list of all devices that use your network such as:

  • WIFI printers
  • Laptops
  • Tablets
  • Phones
  • Smart TVs
  • Game consoles/systems
  • Streaming TV Boxes (ROKU, Apple TV, etc.)
  • Digital Assistants (Amazon ECHO, Google HOME, etc.)
  • etc.

Due to the danger posed by VPNFilter it is STRONGLY recommended that you perform the firmware update and factory reset as soon as possible.

You may want to share links to this and the previous article with friends and family members.

I will update you as new information is received.

Buddy

 

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