The banking malware threat has hit the headlines again. The bad news is it’s bigger and badder than ever and it will only get worse.
In 2014, it was identified and was designed to sneak onto your computer and steal sensitive information.
The potent malware evolves continually so it manages to get by some anti-malware products and then spreads like wildfire across connected computers.
It is touted as one of the most destructive malware, not to mention the most costly, costing organisations £1m and upwards to clean up after an attack. It doesn’t hold back when targeting people personally, private businesses and the public sector.
Here, we give you the run down on the threat, how to avoid it and the protection you can put in place.
What is it?
It’s a Trojan malware that spreads in the way most malware does, spam email. Sophos estimate 93% of cyber threats evolve from phishing emails.
Emotet tends to deploy itself through nasty links, scripts or even macro-enabled documents and attachments that on the face, seem innocent.
Like most phishing/malicious emails, they’ll often look like emails from well-known companies.
Remember, as well as opening the email, they want you to click on the content in the email – they’ll do this by tempting you to click such as threatening you’re losing a service, your direct debit has cancelled itself and needs rearranging to name a few.
The dangerous thing about Emotet is that it can change every time it is downloaded and can be added to, so once in can install other malware like banking trojans.
How can you expect to be targeted?
Most of the time, this will be through spam emails. It then takes over your contact list to share itself with them all. Because it looks like the email is coming from you, it becomes more trusted, so more people open it and click on links or download files.
And it doesn’t just operate silently – if on a network, the malware will exploit weak passwords in a brute-force attack.
But if that wasn’t scary enough, it can also play on vulnerabilities in Windows too – it can replicate itself to spread from system to system.
It won’t come after me, I don’t have anything, right?
Wrong! Everyone is a target. The way it works is that it takes the path of least resistance. It knows there will be vulnerabilities, so it exploits them.
You might think you have nothing they want, but it is capable of stealing logins and sensitive data.
How do I steer clear of Emotet?
If you’re reading this, you’ve taken the first step by becoming aware of what it is and how it works.
In addition, we’d advise some additional steps too:
- Share this with as many people as you can, the more people aware of it, the more we spread the news, the less chance it has of spreading.
- Make sure you and those around you know how to spot a phishing email. If the email seems to good to be true or has you questioning the content, it’s usually phishing. Don’t click on any links, simply ignore it. This quick video can help you identify phishing emails.
- Create strong passwords and share with others on how to create one. This is something we spoke about in a video not too long ago:
- Keep your computers up to date with the latest updates and patches – it reduces the number of vulnerabilities – you’ll find the importance of patches and updates explained in this short video.
- Protect yourself and users on networks with some strong, multi-layered security like Sophos’ synchronized security – prevention is the best cure but if it does happen, you can read here about Sophos’ Zero-touch Emotet Isolation.
Worried about whether you’re protected? Give us a call today 01482 974444 for some friendly advice or to discuss some training to keep you and your business aware of the threats that face your business.