How to reboot home and small office router to get rid of VPNFilter?

Issue: I have heard the news about the Russian-related malware, called VPNFilter! I think my device might be infected. However, I'm still not sure. It would be very helpful if you would explain how to detect this threat and how to reboot my router in case it is necessary. Thanks!

Solved Answer

VPNFilter is a malware that might be developed by infamous Russian hacking group known under the names of Fancy Bear, Pawn Storm, APT-28, and Sofacy Group[1]. According to the analysis, this cyber threat dangerous and might make the device unusable or collect sensitive data.

FBI urges people to reboot their rooters to make sure that the 3-stage VPNFilter malware would be eliminated[2]. Although, people keep asking how to know whether their devices are infected. Experts have managed to gather the list of potentially compromised devices[3]:

  • Netgear DGN2200, R6400, R7000, R8000, WNR1000, and WNR2000;
  • Linksys E1200, E2500, and WRVS4400N;
  • QNAP TS251 and TS439 Pro;
  • Mikrotik 1016, 1036, and 1072;
  • TP-LINK R600VPN.

Get rid of VPNFilter

However, cybersecurity researchers advise all users to take precautionary measures and power cycle their devices to make sure that VPNFilter removal is successful. For that check the instructions below and learn how to reboot your router. Afterward, the second and third stage of the malware won't persist on the device.

If you want to remove VPNFilter completely, the router must be reset to the factory state. We strongly advise you to do so, as it will ensure that the malware won't reappear on the device after some time. Also, other devices on the network will be protected from the infection.

Guide on how to reboot your router and reset factory settings

Note that it is critical to reset the factory settings in order to get rid of VPNFilter. Unfortunately, if you fail to do so, there is a substantial risk that the infection might spread across the network and other devices. We strongly recommend you to pay extreme attention during the procedure.

Method 1. Power Cycle the device

Most of the routers can be rebooted easily. All you need to do is search for the restart button on the router and hit it for approximately 10 seconds.

Remove VPNFilter

The power light should start blinking, and once the device is power cycled, it remains in solid color. Although, other more sophisticated routers have apps that allow to do it remotely.

You can find the instructions on how to reboot each of the affected routers here:

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About the author
Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Security researcher

Lucia Danes is the news editor at UGetFix. She is always on the move because the eager for knowledge makes her travel around the globe and attend InfoSec events and conferences.

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