Endpoint/Device Security, Malware

Over 600K US routers compromised in 2023 malware attack

Close-up of a WiFi router

More than 600,000 internet routers across several Midwest states have been taken offline by a widespread cyberattack against an unnamed U.S. telecommunications firm last October that involved the distribution of a malicious firmware update, Reuters reports.

Such an update, which was deployed between Oct. 25 and Oct. 27, disabled the routers by removing some of the devices' operational code, according to a report from Lumen Technologies' Black Lotus Labs, which noted the potentially severe impact of the outage.

"A sizeable portion of this [internet service provider's] service area covers rural or underserved communities; places where residents may have lost access to emergency services, farming concerns may have lost critical information from remote monitoring of crops during the harvest, and health care providers cut off from telehealth or patients' records," said researchers.

No further details regarding the impacted telecommunications company were provided but details of the incident have matched with Arkansas-based Windstream, which has not commented on the attack.

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