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18
Jul
2018
Malicious Email Campaigns Can Wreak Havoc

Malicious Email Campaigns Can Wreak Havoc

What does this mean?

Over the past several weeks and continuing through today, there has been a marked increase in the number of phishing messages containing malicious links and attachments targeting individuals in all sectors. Many of these messages contain payment-themed subject lines and appear to the recipient to have been sent by trusted contacts, including government organizations, businesses, and academic institutions. These messages are related to Emotet malware campaigns and pose a significant threat to systems, networks, and personal information.

What is Emotet?

Emotet was originally categorized as a banking trojan used to steal financial account details by intercepting network traffic. Since its discovery in 2014, Emotet has continuously evolved to avoid detection and is currently being distributed via spam emails containing malicious attachments or embedded links. In the first half of 2018, Emotet variants have replaced ransomware as the most prevalent email-delivered malware threat.

These emails often reference a nondescript invoice or overdue payment in the subject and body, and contain a URL link or attachment that leads to a Microsoft Word document hosted on a remote server. If recipients open the document and enable the macros, Emotet will install onto their system. Emails may appear to come from an individual within the recipient’s own organization or a trusted associate. Recent subject lines associated with this campaign include “Southwire,” “Inv. [random digits],” and “HRI Monthly Invoice.

Emotet is only detected by the leading anti-virus products 43 percent of the time. As such, end users are advised to be aware of these email threats and to be cautious when opening emails, especially those that were not expected and contain links or attachments.

Please be mindful of this cyber threat and report suspicious emails to your IT Help Desk or Information Security Officer immediately. navitend also strongly recommend never clicking on links or opening attachments delivered with unexpected or unsolicited emails.

If you have opened the attachments contained in the emails or downloaded and opened documents from the links included in the message, notify your IT Help Desk and isolate the affected system(s) from the network.  It is recommended that a full system scan be run using a reputable anti-virus/anti-malware solution. If you suspect that an Emotet attack has taken place, and is not being detected by your  anti-virus solution navitend strongly suggests you reimage the affected system’s hard drive. Also, proactively monitor and change passwords to your financial, personal, and business accounts.

Don't have an IT Support Help Desk?  Call navitend, 973.448.0070 and press "1" for immediate service and help support. 

For more information regarding Emotet, feel free to visit https://www.cyber.nj.gov/threat-profiles/trojan-variants/emotet. 

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