American and European Governments Work to Inform Those Affected by Emotet Malware After 2021 Takedown
“Have I Been Pwned?” (HIBP) owner Troy Hunt posted on his blog, informing his readers that the FBI, Dutch National High Technical Crimes Unit (NHTCU), and the German Federal Criminal Police office (BKA) had provided them with 4,324,770 emails from two separate bodies of data aggregated by Emotet malware, which wreaked havoc on international online communities:
- Email credentials stolen for the purpose of spamming email providers
- Web credentials that were stolen from browser password saving programs, which are intended to make logging into websites easier for users
READ DHS Warns of Increased Emotet Malware Attacks
What is HIBP?
“Have I Been Pwned?” is a free service that informs the public on data breaches across multiple websites and allows individuals to search these lists using their email address as the search item to determine whether or not they have been compromised.
SEE ALSO Dutch Politie Flexes After Emotet Taken Down Last Month
In order to check whether or not you were among those attacked by Emotet, HIBP is treating the campaign as “sensitive,” meaning that you cannot use the public search to find the answer. You must go through their “Notify me” page, which will prompt HIBP to notify you if your email was the target of an attack. This measure is to prevent further abuse of user emails.
Why is Emotet Considered the “Most Dangerous Malware?”
Emotet took malicious emails to a new level by infecting Word documents, invoices, COVID-19 information packets, and more, taking the threat from purely online attacks to a nearly analog approach. This malware became a go-to for cyber criminals, as a dependable door-opener for attackers to move forward with their campaigns. Emotet evolved from a banking Trojan to an attack-for-hire service, meaning that criminals with planned attacks could use the malware to overcome a primary obstacle in their endeavors. The emergence of Emotet ushered in a spike in cyberattacks as more parties could carry out campaigns without the hassle of figuring out how to make the initial breach.
SEE ALSO Emotet Malware Phishing Spoofs DNC
Safe Internet Practices
It is difficult to keep track of passwords, which is why many opt to use the same easy-to-remember passwords for multiple sites. However, unique passwords and multi-factor authentication are important fundamental steps to ensure a secure online experience. Other important practices include:
- Private browsing – otherwise known on Google as “incognito mode”
- Using only private networks for logging into any website (email, Facebook, etc.) – it is tempting to take your work to a local coffee shop, but public wifi is an easy way for attacker to gain access to your information
- Set unique passwords for your internet connection
- Know the difference between HTTP and HTTPS networks
- Place your home router away from windows and closer to the middle of your home
- Install a firewall on your devices
You can read more on safe internet practices here: Safe Internet Use Tips