Have you ever heard of Emotet before?
Well it belongs to the malware group known as banking Trojans. It spreads through spam emails that contain malware. Emotet was noticed in 2014 by security researchers. Back then, it was designed to be a banking malware that attempted to sneak onto your devices and steal confidential information. The goal was to access foreign computers and spy on sensitive data and information. Nowadays, the software added spamming and malware delivery services. Emotet has been known to trick antivirus softwares by hiding from them. Once your device is infected, Emotet spreads and attempts to move from computer to computer in the connected network.
But how does it spread?
This infection can arrive on your device through many different ways which include malicious script, document files, malicious links, etc. One of the most popular ways this infection can travel is through phishing emails. Emotet emails may contain familiar branding designed to look like a legitimate email. They also may try to convince users to click on a link or file by using financial language like “pay now” or “review your invoice”. Emotet sends these emails to stored contacts like family members, close friends and even work colleagues. This past year, Emotet was found spreading from devices and servers to Wi-Fi networks. These networks could then go on to infect other devices and the cycle continues. This is one of the reasons why having a strong password is crucial. Also enterprises can protect Wi-Fi devices by ensuring that encryption is enabled. System admins should also be monitoring networks to notice signs of suspicious activities.
How can I protect myself from Emotet?
One of the best things you can do to protect yourself from Emotet is making sure your anti-virus software is up-to-date. It is the best way to safeguard your computer against viruses and other malware types such as ransomware, Trojan horses, spyware, adware, identity theft and more. It can help detect a problem before it becomes too big to control. At the end of the day, protecting yourself from viruses and lost data is much easier than it used to be and doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Even though having an antivirus software is super beneficial, there are many other things you can do to make sure your device doesn’t get an infection. Here are some tips to protect yourself from malware like Emotet.
1. Security Updates – A great tip is to set your preferences to regularly check for updates and always automatically install them when they are available, so you don’t have to worry about checking yourself.
2. Keep your password secure and up-to-date – When you change your password every few months, it limits how long a stolen password is useful to an attacker. Many security guidelines have recommended frequent password changes, usually between 30 to 180 days. Use only strong passwords for all logins (online banking, email account). This means not the name of your first dog, but a random arrangement of letters, numbers, and special characters.
3. Back Up Your Data – Back up your data regularly to an external storage device. In the event of an infection, you will always have a backup to fall back on and you will not lose all the data on your device.
4. Turn your firewall on – Even though you have antivirus software installed, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have your firewall turned on. Both PCs and Macs come with built-in firewall software to keep your computer safe. Make sure to check that the firewall software is enabled.
5. Be Cautious Opening Email Attachments – Do not download suspicious attachments from emails or click on suspicious links. If you’re unsure whether an email is fake, don’t take any risks and contact the sender. Opening unverified files attached to emails can be very dangerous. These files can easily infect your computer with viruses or malware. Make sure to check the sender’s email as that might be a quick way to detect a phishing email.
Emotet is a very dangerous malware as anyone could become a victim including individuals, businesses, financial institutions, etc. Once the Trojan has spread into a system, it reloads other malware that instantly spies on you. There have been many cases where victims of Emotet are often blackmailed to pay ransom. Make sure you review the tips above to make sure you can reduce the risk of this infection and many others. If you ever suspect that your computer is infected, take action immediately. SEGMENTECH is a CyberArk and Checkpoint partner in Canada. We strongly recommend implementing an Endpoints Security on-premises, hybrid or in the cloud. Contact us if you want to discuss how we can assist you.