Here's why the FBI wants you to reboot your router

The FBI made an urgent recommendation Friday: Owners of small business or home office routers were encouraged to reboot their devices.

There was good reason for the directive.

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The FBI is hoping to thwart the spread of Russian-linked malware that has already infected hundreds of thousands of internet routers around the world, The New York Times reported.

The FBI's public service announcement called the size and scope of the malware's impact "significant." The malware is able to "perform multiple functions, including possible information collection, device exploitation and blocking network traffic," according to the FBI.

The malware is controlled by a group of hackers known as the "Sofacy Group," the Justice Department said in a Wednesday news release.  The group, also known as "Fancy Bear," has been operating since approximately 2007 and "targets government, military, security organizations and other targets of perceived intelligence value," the Justice Department said.

The group is believed to have close ties to Russia's military intelligence agency, The New York Times reported.

Consumers should reboot their internet routers in order to disrupt the malware. The FBI also recommends changing passwords, confirming that the device is operating on the latest firmware and disabling remote management settings.