Why should you reset your router? Well, hackers employed by the Russian government basically deployed malware throughout multiple countries, including the US, which gives them access to data that passes through the infected routers. Obviously, that is kind of scary, as this provided foreign hackers and the Russian government with usernames and passwords that a victim may have used and it even allowed the hackers to use a victim’s router to attack others.
There are a few things of note here. First off, this occurred prior to the 2016 election in the United States. If you have really been living under a rock for the past couple of years, then you may not be aware that there is quite a lot of skepticism that Russia was involved in manipulating the results in Trump’s favor. It is no coincidence that the DNC is suing Russia right now because they believe that the Trump campaign collaborated with the foreign country to leak internal DNC information. Second, what does the Russian government want with millions of people’s private data? If you don’t already know, data collection is a very profitable industry and can be used to manipulate people. So, what could a perfectly transparent government like the Russian government want with foreign data? Especially within a country who they are trying to manipulate politically? Now, I’m not calling for a conspiracy theory, but it seems as though that one of the Russians’ main goals for this attack was to gather data about US citizens and see how they could manipulate each user based on their personal data.
In the US, it is common for political campaigns to gather loads of personal information so that they know who to target in an upcoming election. In my opinion, it is likely that Russia may have been doing the same exact thing. They may have relayed the stolen data to the Trump campaign, allowing the campaign to target specific people on the fence about whether to vote for Trump or not. They may have also purposely targeted “vulnerable” people to “fake news” with the hopes that they would spread it around. This is all just pure speculation, but it shows why the Russian router attack could be much more than just some usernames and passwords being stolen. It could be the key for the FBI to prove that the Russians did in fact directly collaborate with the Trump campaign.
While technology is good for us all, we must still stay aware of the dangerous consequences that can come about because of it. Again, if you have not already, please reset your routers and it might even be a good idea to change your passwords if you haven’t done so already.