The “Emotet” Trojan virus, which has been known about for some time, isonce again causing widespread fear and consternation. The malware has already been responsible for a number of serious IT security incidents and caused significant damage. Emotet is viewed by many as one of the world’s most significant malware threats.
What makes Emotet so dangerous? Emotet is spread through massive spam campaigns. Using what is known as Outlook harvesting, Emotet sends seemingly authentic messages. On systems that are already infected, the malware scans all contact relationships and contact data as well as the related e-mail content. The malware then uses this data to send new spam messages. Since all of the details are correct – the names and e-mail addresses of the sender and recipient in the subject, the form of address and the signature – these e-mails look extremely authentic to most users. Recipients therefore often open the e-mails, which will include manipulated attachments (primarily Office documents with macros), or click on the embedded links.
If the file attachment in such a mail is opened or the link clicked, the malware is loaded onto the user’s own system. Emotet then downloads further malware. The consequences are far-reaching: Data can be stolen, entire IT systems brought down. This has already led to significant loss of production in companies.
However, Emotet is not only circulated via e-mails that are sent to the contacts of the infected user; the malware can even be spread to entire corporate networks via the SMB exploit EternalBlue.
As the malware is well camouflaged, anti-virus programs are often unable to detect it. This makes it all the more important for organizations to raise awareness among their staff so that attachments are not opened straight away or links clicked. A particularly beneficial setting is for macros not to be enabled automatically. From a technical point of view, companies should promptly install any updates or patches for their operating system (especially those updates which combat EternalBlue vulnerabilities) or application programs that are issued by software manufacturers. To keep data safe, it is advisable to carry out regular, multilevel backups and to implement network segmentation. If companies are already affected, professional advice should be sought as swiftly as possible.
About Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe
Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe GmbH, based in Langenhagen, Germany, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Konica Minolta Inc., Tokyo, Japan. Konica Minolta enables its clients to champion the digital era: with its unique imaging expertise and data processing capabilities, Konica Minolta creates relevant solutions for its customers and solves issues faced by society. As a provider of comprehensive IT services, Konica Minolta delivers consultancy and services to optimise business processes with workflow automation and implements solutions in the field of IT infrastructure and IT security as well as cloud environments. Konica Minolta was awarded the prestigious “Buyers Lab PaceSetter award for Smart Workplace Vision” from Keypoint Intelligence” as the only vendor in its industry thanks to its forward-looking vision of the future of work and investment in innovative technology. Being a strong partner for the production and industrial printing market, Konica Minolta offers business consulting, state-of-the-art technology and software and, in 2017, was the production printing market leader for the tenth consecutive year in Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa (InfoSource). The hardware portfolio covers light and mid production as well as industrial printing machines. Konica Minolta Marketing Services provides value added services that intelligently link print and digital marketing in an effective and efficient way. In the healthcare sector, Konica Minolta drives digitalisation of clinical workflows and offers a broad range of next-level diagnostic solutions. Through its Business Innovation Centre in London and four R&D laboratories in Europe, Konica Minolta brings innovation forward by collaborating with its customers as well as academic, industrial and entrepreneurial partners. Konica Minolta Business Solutions Europe is represented by subsidiaries and distributors in more than 80 countries in Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa. With almost 9,900 employees (as of April 2018), Konica Minolta Europe earned net sales of over EUR 2.37 billion in financial year 2017/18.
For more information, please visit http://newsroom.konicaminolta.eu/ and follow Konica Minolta on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter @KonicaMinoltaEU.
Terms and product names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders and are hereby acknowledged.