What is Emotet Malware?
First detected in 2014, Emotet is a computer malware program initially developed as a banking Trojan to access foreign devices and spy on sensitive private data. Once infected, the malware deceives basic antivirus programs and spreads like a computer worm to infiltrate other computers in the network.
Initially, infections by Emotet mainly were detected on the newer versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system. However, since 2019, the malware has also been affecting computers made by Apple. It spreads mainly through spam emails containing a malicious link or infected documents containing the malware.
What Can the Malware Do?
The Trojan reads emails from users and creates deceptively accurate content to send phishing emails to stored contacts, friends, family members, and work colleagues. Once Emotet has access to a network, it spreads and tries to crack passwords to accounts. Emotet has also spread via the EternalBlue exploit method and the DoublePulsar vulnerability on Windows, which enabled the malware to be installed without human intervention.
Emotet is polymorphic, which means that its code changes a little bit every time it is accessed. Since 2020 Emotet has also been attacking Wi-Fi networks. If the infected device is connected to a wireless network, it scans all wireless networks nearby and attempts to infect other devices.
Protection Against Emotet
Relying on antivirus programs is not sufficient in protection against Emotet and other Trojans. While no solution guarantees 100% protection against Emotet or other constantly changing Trojans, some measures can help eliminate risks.
- You must install all security updates provided by manufacturers as quickly as possible to close possible security gaps.
- Install a reliable virus and malware protection program and have it scan your computer regularly for vulnerabilities.
- If you think an email, link or attachment is suspicious, contact the sender. If asked to allow a macro to run on a downloaded file, do not do so under any circumstances, but delete the file immediately.
- Make sure to backup your data to fall back on it in the event of an attack.
- Use strong passwords for all logins, be it online banking, email account, or online stores.
- Having your computer display file extensions by default allows you to detect suspicious files which could be malicious programs.
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