Europol today announced that police and judicial authorities around the world this week managed to stop the operation of one of the most harmful botnets of the past decade, Emotet. Cybersecurity researchers have already managed to take control of their infrastructure in an internationally coordinated action.
The operation, according to Europol, resulted from an effort by authorities from the Netherlands, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Lithuania, Canada and Ukraine, coordinated by Europol and Eurojust. The operation took place under the European Multidisciplinary Platform against Criminal Threats (EMPACT).
Emotet has been one of the most professional and long-lasting cybercrime services ever handled by law enforcement. First discovered as a banking Trojan horse in 2014, it has evolved to become the ideal solution for cybercriminals over the past few years.
The Emotet infrastructure acted essentially as a door opener for computer systems on a global scale. As soon as this unauthorized access was established, it was sold to other high-level criminal groups for the implementation of other illegal activities, such as ransomware, followed by data theft and extortion.
The Emotet group was able to raise the level of e-mail as an attack vector: through an automated process, Emotet malware was delivered to victims’ computers in infected attachments. A variety of different lures were used to induce unsuspecting users to open them. In the past, Emotet’s email campaigns were based primarily on billing, shipping notices and information about covid-19.
With international agencies
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