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TRUE – The FBI is Asking People to Reboot Their Routers

by Brett M. Christensen

A number of reports are currently circulating that claim that the FBI is asking users to reboot their routers as a means of combating a malware threat. 

The claims in the reports are true.  The FBI is indeed recommending that users reboot their home or office routers.

The FBI has published an official public service announcement in which it makes the reboot recommendation and outlines the reason why.  The announcement notes in part:

The FBI recommends any owner of small office and home office routers reboot the devices to temporarily disrupt the malware and aid the potential identification of infected devices. Owners are advised to consider disabling remote management settings on devices and secure with strong passwords and encryption when enabled. Network devices should be upgraded to the latest available versions of firmware.

Screenshot of FBU Router Reboot Announcement

The US Department of Justice has also published a press release with information on the reboot request.

Complying with the FBI’s recommendation is a fairly easy task that should only take a few minutes for most users. 
For those seeking more detailed information, Ars Technica has published a comprehensive analysis of the FBI’s recommendation and the malware involved.

It is likely that not all router models are vulnerable to the malware attack. However, it remains somewhat uncertain which models may have been affected and that is why The FBI has called for all routers to be rebooted.  The Ars Technica report notes:

Authorities and researchers still don’t know for certain how compromised devices are initially infected. They suspect the attackers exploited known vulnerabilities and default passwords that end users had yet to patch or change. That uncertainty is likely driving the advice in the FBI statement that all router and NAS users reboot, rather than only users of the 14 models known to be affected by VPNFilter

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,