cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Warning from the FBI via Avast

skellyboy1948
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎30-07-2018

Warning from the FBI via Avast

I have been running Avast anti-virus software for some years but a couple of days ago I got an alarming email from them telling me that the FBI were advising everybody to reboot their router because of a "new kind of malware". I've looked at what's involved and the last thing I want to do is fiddle around with my router when it may not be necessary. 

What would you advise me to do?

 

I'm new to this forum so please forgive me if somebody has already raised this topic before.

12 REPLIES 12
Kdog
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 160
Thanks: 77
Fixes: 9
Registered: ‎26-01-2018

Re: Warning from the FBI via Avast

Don't do anything based solely on this as naturally I can't be sure, but my initial instinct is to ignore it. Why would the FBI be looking into residential British services?

It'd help to know what you've been asked to change but as a first point of contact I'd get hold of Avast themselves and see if they know anything about it. Also be worth checking if other Avast users have had anything like this. I don't use it myself but I haven't had anything like this.
Mustrum
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,069
Thanks: 786
Fixes: 73
Registered: ‎13-08-2015

Re: Warning from the FBI via Avast

It helps if you actually read the article more from Avast here  it's not just re-booting the router.

jaread83
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 3,438
Thanks: 2,337
Fixes: 81
Registered: ‎22-02-2016

Re: Warning from the FBI via Avast

From what I have read it seems to be malicious software going around called VPNFilter that could render your router inoperable. Generally the advice given is to simply reboot your router, change the admin password to something unique and disable remote administrator privileges.

Here are some relevant articles:

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2018/06/vpnfilter-malware-infecting-50000-devices-is-...

https://blog.avast.com/dont-forget-to-reboot-your-router

Maybe some more of our Community users have read about this before? I was not aware of it until I did some googling when I saw your post.

Frontend Web Developer | www.plus.net

If you have an idea to improve the community, create a new topic on our Community Feedback board to start a discussion about your idea.

skellyboy1948
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎30-07-2018

Re: Warning from the FBI via Avast

Yes I read that article. That's what freaked me out, as I'm not a 'techy' person and I didn't want to mess up my internet connection unless it was absolutely necessary. Reading the article again, it seems to be more targeted towards the American market. 

skellyboy1948
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎30-07-2018

Re: Warning from the FBI via Avast

Avast seem to be based somewhere in the Czech Republic. They have an 0800 number but I suspect that I could waste a fair amount of my time trying to speak to somebody with a grasp of English. I've heard nothing about this issue in the news so will probably let sleeping dogs lie.

skellyboy1948
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎30-07-2018

Re: Warning from the FBI via Avast

Thanks for replying to my post. I've looked at your links and it seems that these threats are aimed more at large companies and organisations rather than a pair of pensioners in the heart of Lincolnshire. I think I shall leave well alone.

ReedRichards
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 4,927
Thanks: 145
Fixes: 25
Registered: ‎14-07-2009

Re: Warning from the FBI via Avast

The emphasis in the Avast article is topsy-turvey.  Most routers are capable of being administered remotely, i.e. from somewhere else on the internet.  Mostly this feature is turned off by default but some ISPs like to fiddle around with their clients' routers so may set remote administration to 'On' on the routers they provide.  If so your router is capable of being 'hacked' and controlled from anywhere else online.  This threat is particularly severe if the administration password is the default one for your make and model of router.

Imagine, @skellyboy1948, you are visiting an unfamiliar city.  You hail a taxi and ask to be taken to the Museum Of Culture.  You are taken to a big imposing building with a large Museum Of Culture sign on the outside.  You go inside and immediately get mugged because it wasn't the Museum of Culture after all ; the taxi driver was in league with the muggers.  With a hacked router your online experience could be similar.  You try to visit the web site of your bank but you are taken to a facsimile site that then tries to extract your banking details.  Even a pair of pensioners could potentially fall victim if they do any sort of online financial transactions.    

    

shutter
Community Veteran
Posts: 21,832
Thanks: 3,620
Fixes: 60
Registered: ‎06-11-2007

Re: Warning from the FBI via Avast

Haven`t read any of the links.... I use Microsoft security essentials for my anti-virus... and no warnings have been issued by them, (to me), about this FBI warning...

. I wonder how many other major Anti-virus companies, (Kaspersky, AVG, Comodo, etc., )  have not issued this warning... and why not ?   why only AVAST ?

Also... I would expect the internet providers to be passing on such warnings to their customers, IF there is a threat to their routers, or to their customers, through the routers they are using.

Nothing from PlusNet....  ? 

 

jaread83
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 3,438
Thanks: 2,337
Fixes: 81
Registered: ‎22-02-2016

Re: Warning from the FBI via Avast

@shutter, it isn't only Avast reporting this. If you google search 'vpnfilter malware' you get 2 million search results. Plenty of resources available.

There is even a wikipedia entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VPNFilter

Frontend Web Developer | www.plus.net

If you have an idea to improve the community, create a new topic on our Community Feedback board to start a discussion about your idea.

shutter
Community Veteran
Posts: 21,832
Thanks: 3,620
Fixes: 60
Registered: ‎06-11-2007

Re: Warning from the FBI via Avast

@jaread83  Thanks for the linky..... to wiki...  Having read through it, it seems that this mainly affects "commercial/industrial" type users routers. and according the the list on the WIKI page, Thomson routers , as issued by PlusNet are not listed....

 

What is your recommendation? regarding action to be taken, if any, by PlusNet (Thomson ) users?

 

jaread83
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 3,438
Thanks: 2,337
Fixes: 81
Registered: ‎22-02-2016

Re: Warning from the FBI via Avast

I am afraid I am not in a position to comment on this in an official capacity - I am but a lowly web developer Cheesy I hadn't heard about this vulnerability until this thread appeared. I use Avast myself but generally ignore any of the popups from it (as its normally them pushing me to upgrade to the premium version).

Frontend Web Developer | www.plus.net

If you have an idea to improve the community, create a new topic on our Community Feedback board to start a discussion about your idea.

kjpetrie
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 194
Thanks: 24
Fixes: 4
Registered: ‎19-12-2010

Re: Warning from the FBI via Avast

See my thread at https://community.plus.net/t5/My-Router/VPNFilter/m-p/1542276. This is not new, and if Avast have only just contacted you they're a bit slow.