FBI advises you to reboot your home/office router right now; Why?

First, the news.

(RNN) – Russia’s hackers are busy folks.

The FBI and Cisco warned us this week that they’ve infiltrated 500,000 routers in more than 50 countries across the globe by using a malware system known as VPNFilter.

The compromised routers could be used for lots of things, but the experts believe the malicious software used to hack them are part of a plan for a huge cyber attack on Ukraine.

To torpedo the Russian plot, the FBI got court approval to seize a domain the hacking group was using to coordinate the operation.

The computer code used in the malware program shares code with previous Russian cyber attacks.

“Defending against this threat is extremely difficult due to the nature of the affected devices,” according to Cisco’s cyber intelligence unit, Talos.

“The majority of them are connected directly to the internet, with no security devices or services between them and the potential attackers.”

And most of these routers are older devices that don’t have up-to-date software.

And now from FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center:

May 25, 2018

Alert Number


Questions regarding this PSA should be directed to your local FBI Field Office.

Local Field Office Locations: www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field


There will be a lot more on this.  There are some lists of routers out there. Some of them may have been installed by your Internet Service Provider. The Boston Globe reports, The FBI is urging Internet service providers Comcast Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc. and others to check whether their hardware is vulnerable, and work with customers on updating their routers.

This will be continually updated, until this becomes less of an issue.

EFF: How to fix your Facebook settings so the recent Cambridge Analytica spying doesn’t get you

Of course, your personal information is valuable so the cybercrooks will still come after you. Not the end-all-beat-all…. This will help make your Facebook privacy more robust, however.


How To Change Your Facebook Settings To Opt Out of Platform API Sharing

March 19, 2018

UPDATE (3/30/18): We have updated this post and its screenshots to reflect how Facebook reorganized and removed some settings this week.

You shouldn’t have to do this. You shouldn’t have to wade through complicated privacy settings in order to ensure that the companies with which you’ve entrusted your personal information are making reasonable, legal efforts to protect it. But Facebook has allowed third parties to violate user privacy on an unprecedented scale, and, while legislators and regulators scramble to understand the implications and put limits in place, users are left with the responsibility to make sure their profiles are properly configured.

Over the weekend, it became clear that Cambridge Analytica, a data analytics company, got access to more than 50 million Facebook users’ data in 2014. The data was overwhelmingly collected, shared, and stored without user consent. The scale of this violation of user privacy reflects how Facebook’s terms of service and API were structured at the time. Make no mistake: this was not a data breach. This was exactly how Facebook’s infrastructure was designed to work.

In addition to raising questions about Facebook’s role in the 2016 presidential election, this news is a reminder of the inevitable privacy risks that users face when their personal information is captured, analyzed, indefinitely stored, and shared by a constellation of data brokers, marketers, and social media companies.

Tech companies can and should do more to protect users, including giving users far more control over what data is collected and how that data is used. That starts with meaningful transparency and allowing truly independent researchers—with no bottom line or corporate interest—access to work with, black-box test, and audit their systems. Finally, users need to be able to leave when a platform isn’t serving them — and take their data with them when they do.

Of course, you could choose to leave Facebook entirely, but for many that is not a viable solution. For now, if you’d like keep your data from going through Facebook’s API, you can take control of your privacy settings. Keep in mind that this disables ALL platform apps (like Farmville, Twitter, or Instagram) and you will not be able to log into other sites using your Facebook login.

Log into Facebook and visit the App Settings page (or go there manually via the Settings Menu > Apps ).

From there, click the “Edit” button under “Apps, Websites and Games.” Click “Turn Off.”