NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - FBI agents urge anyone with a home or office Internet router to reboot it. This, after they say hackers targeted hundreds of thousands of routers worldwide.
"The first thing that goes through my mind is in my safe? Is my family safe?" said Solomon Jupiter.
"It's real scary," said Daniel Lamplugh.
Cyber security expert Nam Nguyen says it maybe tough to know whether your router is one of the ones compromised, but he says a slower-than-normal connection could be a tell-tale sign.
"You're going from your computer to your router to somebody else's network, so intercepting all the traffic, everything you type, everything you look at. From there, they are piping you where you need to go. So, everything you do, in between, they can see," explained Nguyen.
That includes passwords, email addresses, even credit card numbers.
"There's a lot of personal information, there's a lot of passwords for different things, bank accounts, stuff like that, I don't want spilling out. I definitely don't want...things like that to fall into the wrong hands," Jupiter said.
"That's all I can think of, for our business, can they get peoples credit card numbers? Like, what information is vulnerable?" said business owner Brenda McField.
Luckily, the solution is simple. All it takes is a quick reboot of your router. Just turn it off then on again. That breaks the connection and reconnects you to the now FBI-controlled domain.
"If [the FBI] sees that your router is connected to that IP address...they're going to contact your ISP and they're going to let you know what to do and then probably do some more research and figure out how this stuff got onto your machine," Nguyen explained.
It's sparking some to exercise more vigilant when it comes to cyber security.
"It's scary how many people are vulnerable because now everything is on the net. You have to be on the net so everybody's affected," said Lamplugh
"It's pretty terrifying," agreed Jupiter. "I'm definitely going home to restart my routers."
The FBI says you could still be vulnerable even if you restart your router. However, restarting is the only way agents can figure out whose routers are infected. They also suggest you change your router password and update your firmware.
The Department of Justice says the hackers are part of the Sofacy Group. Representatives say the group has been around since 2007 and often targets government, military and security organizations.