Everything You Need To Know About VPNFilter Malware

Router malware

Ever since computers became part of everyone’s life, the risks and threats associated with them have been multiplying. Although, there are tools and ways to avoid any infection to get into your machine, but you may witness them falling against the powerful malware threats. It is not yet forgotten that the WannaCry ransomware put everyone in a gloomy situation and robbed money without the fear of being caught. Same way, there’s another latest malware has hit the industry with the name of VPNFilter, which is a router malware. The malware has successfully infected at least 500,000 devices in more than 50 countries, according to a report. Let’s know it better to ensure your device’s safety.

VPNFilter malware
                                                     Source: refor

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What is VPNFilter malware?

VPNFilter is a router malware that focuses to target small offices and home routers. The action of this malware over your networking equipment is concerning as the elements of VPNFilter are known to breach your privacy. The malware can allow theft of your credentials and can also left an infected machine unusable. This infection also has the potential to cut off the internet connection to many customers worldwide. Most of the infected device are hard to defend the infection as they don’t have an IPS (intrusion protection system) in place. Also, all the known affected devices are found to not have host-based protection system available.

What happens when VPNFilter infects a device?

VPNFilter is a multi-staged element of malware that gets the hold of your device in different steps. In its Stage 1, the malware get itself installed on your device and maintains a persistent presence. VPNFilter also establishes contact with its command & control (C&C) server to fetch more of its modules. In Stage 2 of infection, VPNFilter gets into payload mode and becomes efficient enough to collect files, execute different commands, managing device and exfiltration of data. Moreover, its destruction capacity becomes active and it is then able to brick the device if the attacker commands it to.

VPNFilter
                                   Source: GadgTecs

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In researches, it is found that this latest malware also has a Stage 3 of infection, which is nothing but an added help in form of plugins to spread its Stage 2 infection. These plugins contain packet sniffers to keep an eye over the traffic being routed through your device. The Stage 3 infection is also responsible for the theft of website credentials and spying of Modbus SCADA protocol. Reports also reveal that Stage 3 elements help Stage 2 to communicate through Tor.

What devices are affected by VPNFilter?

VPNFilter may be a destructive router malware, but till now it is found to only targeting the office that include NetGear, Linksys, QNAP, TP-Link, and         MikroTik. Here’s the list of devices that are known to be affected by VPNFilter:

  • Netgear R7000
  • Netgear WNR1000
  • Netgear R8000
  • Netgear WNR1000
  • Netgear WNR2000
  • Linksys E1200
  • Linksys E2500
  • Mikrotik RouterOS for Cloud Core Routers: Versions 1016, 1036, and 1072
  • Netgear DGN2200
  • Netgear R7000
  • Netgear R8000
  • Linksys WRVS4400N
  • Netgear WNR2000
  • Netgear R6400
  • QNAP TS251
  • QNAP TS439 Pro
  • Other QNAP NAS devices running QTS software
  • TP-Link R600VPN

Overall, VPNFilter may be a latest malware in industry but is considered to be one of the most disastrous infections ever. The malware doesn’t leave the device of any use and completely deteriorates its capability to work. If you’re affected by this router malware, it is advised to reboot it immediately to buy some time for you to install any available patches. Although, if you pay extra attention to the content you’re downloading from the internet, you may be able to avoid getting any such infection. If you know some tips to remove VPNFilter malware from device, do let us know in the comments below.