The “Emotet” Trojan virus, which has been known about for some time, is once again causing widespread fear and consternation. The malware has already been responsible for a number of serious IT security incidents and caused significant damage. Emotet is viewed by many as one of the world’s most significant malware threats.
What makes Emotet so dangerous? Emotet is spread through massive spam campaigns. Using what is known as Outlook harvesting, Emotet sends seemingly authentic messages. On systems that are already infected, the malware scans all contact relationships and contact data as well as the related e-mail content. The malware then uses this data to send new spam messages. Since all of the details are correct – the names and e-mail addresses of the sender and recipient in the subject, the form of address and the signature – these e-mails look extremely authentic to most users. Recipients therefore often open the e-mails, which will include manipulated attachments (primarily Office documents with macros), or click on the embedded links.