In Wake of ‘Urgent’ FBI Advisory on VPNFilter Malware, Infinitely Virtual CEO Urges SMBs to Stop Shortchanging Security
Cloud Hosting Pioneer Says IT Sector Got the Message but Small/Midsize Businesses Continue to Rely on Compromised Consumer Equipment, Porous Firewalls
LOS ANGELES (June 18, 2018) – While the IT establishment is responding to an “urgent” malware advisory from the FBI, consumers and small businesses unwittingly continue to rely on routers and other devices that may be putting their computer networks at grave risk – so warns Adam Stern, founder and CEO of cloud hosting pioneer Infinitely Virtual.
Late last month, the FBI issued an advisory recommending that users reboot their routers to thwart a Russia-linked malware infection responsible for compromising half a million devices. Cisco’s Talos threat intelligence team revealed the existence of the sophisticated malware – known as VPNFilter — that infected some 500,000 devices across at least 54 countries, affecting products made by Linksys, MikroTik, NETGEAR, TP-Link and QNAP.
On June 6, Talos updated its findings to show that VPNFilter has more capabilities than initially reported and has compromised more routers in small businesses and home offices. Among the additional home network vendors targeted: ASUS, D-Link, Huawei, Ubiquiti, UPVEL and ZTE. According to Talos, the malware can “intercept network traffic and inject malicious code into it without the user’s knowledge.”
“For anyone who purchased a product like D-Link or NetGear from Best Buy or Wal-Mart, this is a call to arms,” Stern said. “IT departments acted quickly in response to the FBI advisory but small businesses and home users, dispersed as they are, didn’t get the memo. That memo says in the strongest terms possible: you are not protected. Bad actors in India and Russia are pounding on you, and they now have the complete keys to the kingdom.”
VPNFilter is capable of collecting information, blocking network traffic or disabling the infected device completely and rendering it unusable. The latter destructive capability can be triggered on individual infected machines or en masse to cut off internet access for hundreds of thousands of victims.
“This is a wakeup call to business owners,” Stern said. “It’s time to place your server in the cloud. VPNFilter, which effectively turns the firewall against the user, is a silent killer. It was repurposed expressly to attack these devices. Without the staff to monitor and log traffic, the days of having a server and feeling secure are over.”
For SMBs, the perils of shortchanging security are clear, Stern said. “The firewall is supposed to be hardened against these kinds of threats, but how do you protect the network when your shield is vulnerable? That’s why it’s vital for small businesses to have a cloud hosting provider who will handle security for them, with intrusion detection and prevention technologies and the like as a given. In a time when hacks can be toxic, doing anything less is capitulation.”
According to the IT journal Cyware, VPNFilter is believed to be the creation of Russian hacking group Sofacy, also known as Fancy Bear, APT28 and Pawn Storm. The group has been previously linked to several cyberattacks including the NotPetya ransomware outbreak, the BlackEnergy attacks targeting Ukraine’s power grid and the Democratic National Committee breach during the 2016 presidential election. Per Talos’ analysis, significant similarities were observed between VPNFilter’s code and versions of the BlackEnergy malware.
To speak with Adam Stern, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Infinitely Virtual: The World’s Most Advanced Hosting Environment.
Infinitely Virtual is a leading provider of high quality and affordable Cloud Server technology, capable of delivering services to any type of business, via terminal servers, SharePoint servers and SQL servers – all based on Cloud Servers. Ranked #28th on the Talkin’ Cloud 100 roster of premier hosting providers, Infinitely Virtual has earned the highest rating of “Enterprise-Ready™” in Skyhigh Networks’ CloudTrust™ Program for four of its offerings — Cloud Server Hosting, InfiniteVault, InfiniteProtect and Virtual Terminal Server. The company recently took the #1 spot in HostReview’s Ranking of VPS hosting providers. Infinitely Virtual was established as a subsidiary of Altay Corporation, and through this partnership, the company provides customers with expert 24×7 technical support. More information about Infinitely Virtual can be found at: http://www.infinitelyvirtual.com, @iv_cloudhosting, or call 866-257-8455.
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