As PC manufacturers harden their systems from viruses and exploits, hackers find new avenues to spread the malware that does their bidding. While your computer may not be threatened, your conduit to the Internet itself is under attack. Malicious hackers find consumer-grade routers to be the low-hanging fruit from which they survive.
Cisco’s intelligence division found an estimated 500,000 routers infected by a malware program called VPNFilter. Routers manufactured by Linksys, Netgear, TP-Link and MikroTik were all found to be affected by the exploit. Using this malware, a hacker could snoop your Internet traffic to gather passwords, use an infected router to attack other Internet users, or even go so far as to completely render a router unusable.
While not guaranteed to eliminate the malware, the F.B.I. urges Internet users to update and reboot their routers. They also advise creating a strong password for the management interface.
Update: June 6, 2018
Ars Technica published an article listing known models of routers from a number of different manufacturers that have been found to contain the VPNFilter malware. The article also details how man-in-the-middle attacks are carried out by the malware to gather personal information.
To read more about the exploit:
If you feel your router may have been exploited and need assistance:
TCI also offers a managed router service for both residential and business installations. Call and speak with a customer service representative for details.