Since 2019, public authorities, universities and healthcare institutions have increasingly become the target of hacking attacks. The Berlin Court of Appeal, the University of Gießen and the Hospital of Fürth are only the best-known victims of cyber criminals. And they have two things in common: in all cases the IT infrastructures were infected with the malware Emotet, and the consequences of all infections were catastrophic.
Since the beginning of the Corona pandemic at the end of 2019, cybercriminals have been exploiting fears of the Corona virus to spread malicious code via email. The criminals are doing this, for example, by establishing a relationship with the Corona virus in the contaminated emails, arguing emotionally or claiming a particular urgency. Many of the sensitized recipients fall for it, causing the entire IT network to become infected and allowing malware and ransomware to be spread unhindered.
The lung disease Covid-19 caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has presented new challenges for society and people worldwide. Contact barriers, masks, closed shops, cancellations of events and cinema closures are just some of the consequences that have shaken up the everyday life that we have all taken for granted. Many people are particularly aware of the importance of social contacts and meetings in this time of crisis.
A large number of cyber attacks hit public institutions and authorities in 2019. The administration of the city of Frankfurt am Main, the Berlin Chamber Court and the administration of Neustadt am Rübenberge are just three examples that show the catastrophic consequences that an infestation with malware can have for authorities. In all these cases, it was the banking Trojan Emotet – the most dangerous malware in the world at the moment, according to the Federal Ministry for Information Security (BSI) – that was able to paralyze these authorities and in some cases still does so.
In many cases, the banking Trojan Emotet reaches IT infrastructures via contaminated Office files containing so-called macros. A macro is a kind of mini-program that – if permission has been granted – executes a specific sequence of instructions. Cyber criminals have used macros to find a way to infect computers with emotet and other malware. Because they are often not needed, these macros can be prevented from running in Office 365, either manually or through Group Policy – if it weren’t for a glaring vulnerability in certain business versions of Office 365.eklatante Sicherheitslücke in bestimmten Business-Versionen von Office 365.
Much has been written lately about Emotet and the consequences that an infestation with this banking Trojan can have. Among other things, public institutions have had and are struggling with the consequences of successful cyberattacks that have polluted and crippled their respective IT infrastructures, with sometimes catastrophic consequences. The Berlin Chamber Court is perhaps the best-known example, as large amounts of data could probably be stolen over several days. A real IT total damage. We have already explained how you and your company can protect yourself from emotet elsewhere.
But what does an emotet email actually look like? Three concrete examples show how authentic emotet emails now look. All three examples have been reported to us and have only been anonymized by us to the extent necessary for data protection reasons.
Based on a regular evaluation of extensive data sources and a continuous analysis of the current threat situation, we show you the 6 most important methods for mail attacks in 2020.
The Coronavirus pandemic, the outbreak of which was first discovered in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, in late December 2019, is currently a constant topic in the news. Favoured by the hesitant behaviour of the Chinese authorities and global travel and air traffic, there are, according to information from the Federal Ministry of Health, at this point in time (as of 5 February 2020) more than 24,000 cases of infection and over 400 deaths attributed to the corona virus. In addition to these dramatic health consequences, the virus also poses other dangers.