- Jul 27, 2015
Described by Europol as "one of most significant botnets of the past decade," Emotet left a trail of destruction in its wake as it rampaged across the world. Here's everything you need to know about this devastating malware. Spread by spam emails, Emotet's goal was to compromise devices and networks and sell back-door access to anyone. Emotet was much more than just malware. The cybercriminals behind it behaved like a commercial business, offering their weapon for hire to other cybercriminals. This allowed these third parties to install all kinds of malicious software - like banking trojans, ransomware, botnets and cryptocurrency miners - onto their victims' networks. With an estimated clean up cost of $1m per attack, the US Department of Homeland Security concluded Emotet had enormous destructive power. Germany's Federal Office for Information Security called Emotet the "king of malware."
There's no question Emotet is one of the most complex and dangerous malware ever. It left a trail of expensive attacks in its wake, partly because it's polymorphic, which means its code changes a little bit every time it's accessed. This made it almost impossible for antivirus software to defeat. Like their code, the cybercriminals behind Emotet were constantly on the move. Because of this dynamic and nebulous strategy, a coordinated effort by eight law enforcement agencies was needed to finally take Emotet down.
Nobody truly knows who is behind Emotet. As you'll see in hacker:HUNTER, the group was eventually traced to Ukraine but speculation remains that those arrested were not the only perpetrators and that Emotet could morph and rise again to cause carnage around the world.
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