In August, FBI agents interviewed a Pittsburgh woman whose computer had been commandeered by hackers.
“She voluntarily relinquished her router to the agents,” wrote FBI agent Michael McKeown, in an affidavit filed in federal court. “In addition, the victim allowed the FBI to utilize a network tap on her home network that allowed the FBI to observe the network traffic leaving the home router.”
That break in the investigation led the FBI to take over a key server linked to the Kremlin and Russia's estimated half a million hacked routes, according to an exclusive report by the Daily Beast.
The malware—linked to Fancy Bear, the Russian operation thought to be behind the DNC hack and Hillary Clinton campaign—is reportedly active in more than 50 countries. The malware appears to be particularly active in Ukraine, according to cyber security experts.
As the Daily Beast explains, once the malware has infected a malware, it installs plug ins that allow hackers to steal web credentials. Another plug-in allows the hacker to destroy the device.