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‘World’s Most Dangerous Malware’ Emotet Taken Down in International Cyber Crime Effort

Perhaps the world’s most infamous phishing scam, the Emotet malware network has been taken down by the police, saving people around the world millions of dollars in data theft and computer, software, and network maintenance fees. .

In what was the cyber equivalent of a massive international police raid, the governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Lithuania, the Netherlands, France, Ukraine and Germany participated in the raid.

First seen in Europe in 2014, Emotet expanded its reach over the years and was behind millions of costly cyberattacks around the world. The FBI opened its first related investigation when Emotet compromised a North Carolina school district in 2017.

“Emotet malware has evolved substantially since it was first noticed by the industry,” Jessica Nye, supervisor of the FBI’s cyber team, said of the announcement. “He became increasingly stealthy in his ability to gain access to his computer, which then opened the door for additional malware.”

Characterized by Word document attachments that would ask you to “Enable macros”, a rather harmless sounding feature of Microsoft Word, an article from BBC claimed that the robotic network (botnet) sent more than 150,000 phishing emails with 100,000 different subject lines and file names.

The fbi notice of described bust Emotet malware is coded “nimble” and “always mutant”. Once unsuspecting victims pressed “Enable macros,” a backdoor was created in the computers, access to which was then sold to cybercriminals who would upload their own malware, usually Trojans that would record banking information.

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Europol reported this week that the international cybercrime police took control of Emotet’s infrastructure from the inside, which in practice meant seizing approximately half of the total devices that spread the malware and disarming it server by server.

“Through the combined efforts of the incredible FBI team, foreign partners, and private sector partners, Emotet’s command and control network was significantly impacted,” said Nye. “To recreate this botnet, criminals would have to rebuild from scratch.”

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Surprisingly, the Dutch members of the cyber raid managed to get hold of a huge rolodex of email addresses that had been successfully infiltrated by the botnet, and they are cheering people on to look up their email addresses on your system to see if yours was in the Emotet logs.

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