The Cofense Intelligence team continues to see the Emotet malware family being leveraged across the threat landscape. To protect against the many threats out there, it’s important to know about the various types of malware that exist and how they have evolved over time. One of the most serious malware families is Emotet, a type of banking trojan that has been around since 2014. Let’s take a look at the history of Emotet, and what makes it such an insidious threat to businesses today.
The Origin of Emotet
Emotet was first discovered in 2014 by security researchers who were tracking a malicious network traffic pattern. It was quickly identified as a Trojan virus that could gain access to computers through email attachments or malicious links sent via email campaigns or social media messages. In worm-like fashion, it spread from one computer to another, stealing confidential information and personal data from unsuspecting users.
At first, Emotet was primarily used for financial fraud, stealing bank account numbers and credit card details from unsuspecting victims. But as its capabilities grew, so did its scope—from financial fraud to espionage and political sabotage. As other malicious actors became aware of the power of Emotet, they began using it to launch larger-scale attacks on businesses, government agencies, and even healthcare providers.
Modern Emotet Attacks
Today’s version of Emotet is even more sophisticated than its predecessors. It can now be used for ransomware attacks—where attackers encrypt files on computers until victims pay a ransom—and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks—where attackers overwhelm websites with traffic until they crash or become inaccessible for legitimate visitors. Additionally, modern versions of Emotet are now able to steal passwords from web browsers and spread itself across networks without user interaction.
Cybersecurity professionals must stay up-to-date on the latest threats like Emotet so they can protect their networks against these dangerous forms of malware. While it is impossible to predict when and where new forms of malware will appear next, vigilance is key in mitigating any damage caused by these malicious actors before it’s too late.
With Cofense, you can take security to the next level by providing simulations that teach users about Emotet and how to spot it. Current customers can log into PhishMe and simply search for “emotet” when creating a new scenario. There are multiple scenarios to choose from so you can create a bespoke playbook for training end users on this threat and how to spot it. Cofense can take it a step further by removing malicious emails that contain Emotet malware automatically and before users even see them. If you are interested in learning more about Emotet and how Cofense can better train end users, please reach out to [email protected].