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Stealthy, destructive malware infects half a million routers

2018-05-23 16:35 by
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Security researchers at Cisco's Talos revealed today a new kind of malware, called VPNFilter, which it says has infected at least half a million home and small business routers, including those sold by Netgear, TP-Link, Linksys, MicroTik, and QNAP network storage devices.

Talos believes that the versatile code is designed to serve as a multipurpose spy tool, and also creates a network of hijacked routers that serve as unwitting VPNs, potentially hiding the attackers' origin as they carry out other malicious activities.

The hackers, said to be the same group that breached the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in 2016, currently have the power to simultaneously kill the devices and take down the internet for vast numbers of people as a result, the researchers warned.

"It has destructive capability. The malware's flexible command structure gives the adversary the ability to use it to 'brick' these devices. That's not a capability usually built into malware like this," Cyber Threat Alliance President Michael Daniel said.

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