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Data Privacy Day: Emotet, world's most dangerous malware, disrupted through international coordinated action

Emotet, first found in 2014, has been one of the most professional and long lasting cybercrime services out there.

January 28, 2021 / 12:37 PM IST
Representational Image

Representational Image

Emotet, the world’s most dangerous malware, has been disrupted ahead of Data Privacy Day 2021. Law enforcement and judicial authorities worldwide worked together to take control of the banking Trojan that, over the years, evolved as the most dangerous malware.

Emotet has been taken down through an international coordinated action. Europol said that the collaborative effort from the authorities in the Netherlands, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Lithuania, Canada and Ukraine helped it take down the malware.

Emotet, first found in 2014, has been one of the most professional and long lasting cybercrime services out there. The malware’s infrastructure acted as a primary door opener for computer systems on a global scale. Once this unauthorised access was established, these were sold to other top-level criminal groups to deploy further illicit activities such data theft and extortion through ransomware, the release stated.

Hackers used emails as an attack vector. The Emotet malware was delivered to the victims’ computers via infected email attachments. These attachments mostly contained malicious Word documents, either attached to the email itself or downloadable by clicking on a link within the email itself. The victims could be prompted to “enable macros” after opening the documents that would allow the malicious code to run and install the Emotet malware on their computer.

What made Emotet more dangerous was that it was offered for fire to other hackers and cybercriminals to install other types of malware, such as banking Trojans or ransomwares, onto a victim’s computer. The malware was also polymorphic as the code changed each time it was called up.


Although the malware has been disrupted, it is always best to protect yourself from being a victim to cyberattacks. Hackers use various modes and mediums to get access to your system. One of the many causes of accounts getting hacked is when users visit websites and click or download malicious files and links. At times, users unwillingly and unknowingly enter their personal information on such sites.

This information is used to install backdoor bots, ransomware and even system monitors that can track and store all your browsing history even after the website or file is closed. This attack on the system is called as Phishing.

Click here to know how to spot a phishing attack

You can also use a Virtual Private Network, or what is popularly known as VPN to safeguard yourself from such attacks. A VPN basically encrypts the data and adds a layer of security to your existing network. It acts as a secure tunnel between you and your network, and all the data that is being accessed is routed through this virtual tunnel, keeping it secure and private. Simply put, VPN is a virtual network that keeps you private on the internet without revealing your exact location.

Also read: What is VPN, what does VPN do, why should I use one and other questions answered

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Moneycontrol News
first published: Jan 28, 2021 12:37 pm
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