Multinational Law Enforcement Campaign Takes Down the Emotet Botnet

by | Feb 3, 2021 | Compliance News

Europol reported that the infamous Emotet Botnet was taken down in connection with a multinational law enforcement operation. Law enforcement institutions in the United States, Canada, and Europe took charge of the Emotet infrastructure, which is composed of hundreds of servers worldwide.

The Emotet botnet was a much talked about malware botnets in the last ten years and the Emotet Trojan was perhaps the most threatening malware variant to appear in recent years. The operators running the Emotet was a very experienced cybercrime provider and played a major role in the cybercrime world. The Emotet botnet is used in approximately 30% of all malware attacks.

The Emotet Trojan was initially discovered in 2014 and was, in the beginning, a banking Trojan, however, the malware turned into a far more damaging threat and utilized for a lot of cybercriminal operations. The Emotet Trojan worked as a backdoor into computer networks and access was offered for sale to other cybercriminal groups for carrying out data theft, malware syndication, and extortion. Emotet was employed to transmit Qakbot And Trickbot, which subsequently were utilized to send ransomware variants including Conti Ryuk, Prolock And Egregor.

When a device was affected by the Emotet Trojan it is going to be added to the botnet and utilized to contaminate other systems. Emotet can pass on laterally throughout systems and hijacked email accounts to transmit duplicates of itself to contacts. The Emotet group brought phishing to the subsequent level and their efforts were remarkably successful. A big selection of baits was employed to raise the likelihood of opening the email messages and installing the malware. Emotet likewise hijacked message posts and placed itself into email chats to raise the likelihood of opening up malicious attachments.

The law enforcement campaign was planned for approximately 2 years and was a joint effort between regulators in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Canada Lithuania, the United Kingdom, Ukraine and the United States, with the campaign organized by Europol and Eurojust.

The facilities utilized to manage the botnet was distributed over hundreds of servers, all of which carried out diverse functions and were employed to take care of infected computer systems, circulate copies of the Emotet Trojan, exfiltrate information, and give services to other cybercrime organizations. The Emotet gang had furthermore built resiliency into its structure to averting any takedown efforts.

To eliminate the infrastructure and avert any initiatives at restoration, the operation was organized and law enforcement bureaus took command of servers concurrently from within. The servers are currently under the command of law enforcement and a module that removes the malware is by now being circulated. Europol affirms the malware is going to be deleted from infected systems on March 25, 2021.

Aside from drastically stopping the operation, many members of the Emotet group in Ukraine assumed to be operating the botnet were detained and other apprehensions will soon follow.

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