Trojan Emotet is back to Attack!

Emotet botnet resumes malspam operations after going silent for nearly four months.

Trojan Emotet is back to Attack!

After a summer of silence from the infamous banking Trojan Emotet, there has been a huge upsurge in reports during the last 6 weeks.  Emotet can be incredibly damaging, causing a rapid network wide infection.  Now is a good time for a quick recap of the key features of Emotet, how it spreads, what your team should look out for and what you can do to prevent an attack.

What is Emotet?

Emotet was first targted as banking malware, which attempted to steal private information. As a polymorphic malware, it morphs into changing forms as it moves from host to host.  This makes detection extremely difficult and it often evades anti-malware products.

In its current incarnation, Emotet’s infrastructure is used to distribute another banking Trojan (Trickbot) and then ransomware (Ryuk).  This method of attack is called the triple threat.  The combination affords maximum infiltration of the network, stealing valuable data while encrypting the rest – for use in extortion.

Trojan Emotet
Trojan Emotet is back to Attack!

How is it spread?

Emotet is primarily spread through spam emails, with infected attachments.  These emails are designed to look genuine; they urge the user to click on a link to see an invoice, or payment detail etc.  It then uses the contact lists of infected users to spread to other networks.   Emotet often jumps into the middle of email conversations.  It will go through an inbox replying to messages and sending a malicious attachment.  This is very effective method and it is a tactic they using increasingly. Around 25% of their emails now use this delivery method.   It also uses a list of common passwords to brute force attack itself into connected networks.

How to defend your business?

The polymorphic nature of Emotet means one line of defence will not work.  We always recommend a multi-layered approach to cyber security. Businesses need a suite of effective and complementary cyber security products to create a robust defence.   As email is the first line of attack, Spam Titan should be a key component of your defence, as it should identify and block malicious attachments.  Staff training on Security Awareness is also essential, as their ability to identify a malicious email is vital to protect the company from attack.

Cirrus can advise your business on all aspects of cyber security.  We can complete an audit on your network to identify vulnerabilities and make recommendations on how you can improve your cyber defence.  We offer Security Awareness Training for staff. If you would like further information on any of these services, contact us today. 0330 130 966

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