Sunday, February 5 2023

Cyber criminals use information about the coronavirus outbreak as bait to spread ‘Emotet’ malware, Researchers at IBM X-Force warn that there are cyber criminals who are spreading ‘Emotet’ malware in Japan via emails with links related to the coronavirus outbreak.

Cyber criminals take advantage of global events to expand their malware. 20M Cyber criminals exploit any vulnerability to spread their attacks. With the world overwhelmed by the possible effects of Wuhan’s coronavirus, researchers from entities such as IBM warn that other dangers are lurking emails are being identified with links infected with ‘Emotet’ malware that use information about the outbreak as bait.

Cyber attacks in 2020

Now cyber-attacks have occurred in Japan, but experts do not rule out that the offensive with this hard-to-crack Trojan expands to the rest of the world, so they ask citizens to be vigilant. ‘Emotet’ is a type of malware originally designed as a banking Trojan aimed at stealing financial data, but it has evolved to become a major threat to users worldwide. It was first identified in 2014 and according to the US it is one of the most expensive and destructive malwares known to date. This computer virus has a history of having devastatingly effective in its attacks on governments and financial institutions. The practice of taking advantage of global events to send malicious emails has become common among cyber criminals: “This strategy is able to trick more victims into clicking links or opening malicious files, which ultimately increases the effectiveness of a malware campaign,” IBM researchers report. According to TechRepublic, Javvad Malik, a security awareness advocate with KnowBe4, said attempts have also been made to spread the ‘Emotet’ malware by exploiting the unfortunate helicopter accident that claimed the life of Kobe Bryant, his daughter and the other passengers. The Super Bowl and Greta Thunberg were also used as bait for the computer virus. How do you identify these fraudulent emails? IBM discovered that cyber criminals sent emails under the pretext of being part of a social assistance service provider for the disabled in Japan. The emails falsely claim that there are “reports of patients with coronavirus in Gifu, Tottori and Osaka prefectures in Japan, urging victims to read an attached Microsoft Word document containing the Emotet Trojan inside,” they claim from the TechRepublic portal Facebook, Twitter and Google join the fight against the coronavirus fighting the ‘fake news’. “The messages are particularly dangerous because they were made to seem like official government emails, equipped with legitimate addresses, phone numbers and emails,” they add.

Any email that has the attachment of type pdf, .mp4 and .docx files that claim to have information on how people can protect themselves from 2019-nCoV, and updates on their spread and even detection procedures, should not be opened and the email attachment should not be downloaded. The incident must be reported to the network team or cyber experts for action.

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