Remember Emotet? Well, it’s back.

In case you don’t know, Emotet is one of the biggest cyber threats in recent years.

This damaging malware oftentimes gains a foothold in a system through a macro virus in an email attachment.

“Clever social engineering on the part of the threat actors can make detecting these malicious emails difficult,” said Brian Walker, CEO of InCare Technologies.

“These emails may look like they’re coming from a colleague, they may seem to be a continuation of a past email thread, or they may reference a timely topic in your line of business.”

The Emotet backdoor is typically installed via a macro-enabled Word document. PDFs or hyperlinks within the body of the email can also cunningly link to these Word documents.

While more and more people are becoming better educated about email security issues, the sophisticated nature of the Emotet attacks as well as the volume (1.8 million malicious emails were blasted out in a short period last February) make it a potent threat.

“Once Emotet gets in, worm-like self-propagation features allow it to spread across networks at terrifying speeds,” said Aaron Allen, Director of Technical Services at InCare. “The threat actors can steal account credentials and proprietary or sensitive information. Emotet can even download and install additional malware, such as TrickBot, which steals bank logins, tax information, and other financial details. Emotet has also been known to lay dormant, ready to launch future attacks.”

In other words, Emotet is bad news. Recovery in the aftermath of an Emotet attack can be extremely costly, and the hit to your reputation can be tough to shake.

Here are 4 tips to help defend against Emotet:

  1. Ensure you keep everything patched and up to date so known vulnerabilities are shored up.
  2. Keep your staff educated on malicious emails.
  3. Be wary of emails that seem out of place, even if they appear to be from colleagues or friends.
  4. Be especially wary of attachments. Watch out for PDFs and Word documents.

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