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China’s cyberthreat strikes home: FBI warns of router invasion

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The ongoing cyberwar between the U.S. and China has a new front: The FBI is warning that certain internet routers are being “hijacked” by Chinese hackers. The attacks target older routers with outdated security made by Cisco and NetGear and hackers can secretly install malware to launch cyberattacks on critical U.S. infrastructure.

FBI Director Christopher Wray stated that “China’s hackers are positioning on American infrastructure in preparation to wreak havoc and cause real-world harm to American citizens and communities.” Cyber experts say that regular updates and ensuring remote access is turned off can help protect against these attacks. If routers are 10-15 years old, it may be time to buy a new one to further mitigate the risk.

This is not the only cyberattack linked to China as in December, it was discovered that Chinese hackers exploited technology made by Ivanti that allows remote logins. The intrusion potentially exposes logins and passwords, allowing hackers access to steal documents and emails. Federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, were given 48 hours to disconnect and install patches to protect against these attacks.

The FBI advises individuals and businesses to report any suspected router hacks at www.ic3.gov.

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