Emotet Took Down A Network By Overheating All Computers – Expert Reaction

Microsoft says that an Emotet infection was able to take down an organisation’s entire network by maxing out CPUs on Windows devices and bringing its Internet connection down to a crawl after one employee was tricked to open a phishing email attachment. “After a phishing email delivered Emotet, a polymorphic virus that propagates via network shares and legacy protocols, the virus shut down the organization’s core services,” DART said.

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Roger Grimes
Roger Grimes , Data-driven Defence Evangelist
InfoSec Expert
April 6, 2020 12:41 pm

That it occurred because of a single phishing email is not strange. Seventy to ninety percent of all malicious breaches happen because of social engineering and phishing. No other single root cause is close. Not to scare anyone, but what this malware program and the hacker gang attached to it did, was not new. There was nothing special about what they used or what happened. Once any malware program has gained admin access to a network, they can absolutely do anything that the software and hardware it is running on can do. The sky’s the limit! They can steal data, steal passwords, encrypt data, ask for a ransom, use the compromised computers to attack other companies, and shutdown systems. Once malware has the keys to the kingdom, it can do anything. These days, you’re lucky if all it did was encrypt and ransom your data. There are things far worse. What defenders need to understand is that Emotet and other malware programs aren’t the threat. The threat is how those things got in control of a computer and then the network in the first place. And until you understand and mitigate the root causes behind all of this madness, you’ll never stop it. Worrying about Emotet and other malware programs is like worrying about your brakes after your car has been stolen. You can worry about it, but it’s the wrong thing to worry about. Because once they get it…if you fail at stopping them…they can do anything. It’s a hard wake-up call to face when it happens though.

Last edited 2 years ago by Roger Grimes
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