Law enforcement authorities eliminated the “most dangerous in the world” botnet Emotet

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The joint efforts of the authorities of the Netherlands, Germany, the USA, Great Britain, France, Lithuania, Canada and Ukraine managed to eliminate the Emotet botnet, Europol reported. It has been called the most dangerous malware in the world.

Bye-bye botnets Huge global operation brings down the world’s most dangerous malware.

Investigators have taken control of the Emotet botnet, the most resilient malware in the wild.

Get the full story: World’s most dangerous malware EMOTET disrupted through global action pic.twitter.com/K28A6ixxuM

— Europol (@Europol) January 27, 2021
The malware was primarily distributed via email using infected attachments disguised as Word documents.

“What made Emotet so dangerous was that the malware was “rented” to cybercriminals to install other types of malware on the victim’s computer, such as banking Trojans or ransomware,” Europol said.
As a result of the operation, law enforcement officers managed to gain control of the botnet infrastructure and disrupt its operation.

Dutch authorities said that two of Emotet's three main control servers were located in their country. They used their access to command and control servers to deploy the update to all infected hosts.

It contains a special code that will remove Emotet from all infected devices on March 25, 2021.

Experts say this will effectively reboot Emotet and the botnet operators will have to “start all over again.”

Dutch law enforcement also discovered a database of email addresses, usernames and passwords stolen using Emotet.

Ukrainian cyber police have identified two suspects - citizens of Ukraine, allegedly ensuring the operation of the botnet infrastructure.

Together with international colleagues, a secretly transnational grouping of hackers, who have been working on one of the most dangerous and unprofitable programs “EMOTET”

Details: Cyber police have uncovered a transnational group of hackers from the most dangerous computer virus in the world “EMOTET” pic.twitter.com/LKw7LA0mFc

— Cyberpolice Ukraine (@CyberpoliceUA) January 27, 2021
According to available data, the damage from Emotet’s activities for banks and financial institutions in the US and EU amounted to $2.5 billion.

The head of the European Cybercrime Center's operations department, Fernando Ruiz, said that Emotet is involved in 30% of all malware attacks.

“Emotet has been our number one threat for a long time,” he said.
 
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