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Financial Organizations Beware Of Documents Asking To Enable Content

By February 13, 2020May 9th, 2022Cybersecurity

If you work in the financial sector, be advised that there’s a large scale botnet-driven malware campaign underway. It has been targeting firms in both the US and the UK.

The malware at the heart of the campaign is Emotet, which began life as a banking trojan, but it has morphed into something quite different in recent times.

It’s now a full-fledged botnet and its creators are leasing it out to anyone who can pay.

Make no mistake, the latest configuration of Emotet isn’t a threat to be taken lightly. Last year, it accounted for almost two thirds of malicious payloads delivered via phishing attack. The malware was heavily used throughout much of 2019, suffered a marked decline during December, and then came roaring back to the fore in January of 2020.

While the major thrust of this latest campaign is aimed at financial institutions, a small number of attacks have been made against companies in the media, transportation, and food industries.

The campaign is being conducted largely by phishing emails that contain a Microsoft Word Document that pretends to be an invoice for a service recently rendered. The email subject line varies but in all cases it mirrors the invoice and/or bank details.

Naturally, if a recipient attempts to open the invoice, he or she will get a popup box indicating that Macros must be enabled in order to properly view it. If the recipient clicks the button to enable macros, the malicious payload will be installed.

This is time tested and a reliable method of getting malicious code onto target machines. It’s been around for years, but it’s still in use because it’s so effective. Make sure your employees are aware of the threat and stay vigilant. If the early indications mean anything, 2020 is going to be a very trying year.

Jason Manteiga

Jason J. Manteiga, Vice President of Olmec Systems, has been part of the company for over the past 20 years. He believes that having a great work environment and supportive team, is the ultimate key to success. Since being in the IT realm for over 25 years, Jason, along with Olmec Systems, has been on the Inc. 5000 “List of America’s Fastest Growing Private Companies” and Channel Futures MSP 501 “Top Managed Service Providers in North America,” along with other awards and nominations. Jason earned his Bachelor Degree in Information Systems from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He also holds certifications in Microsoft MCSE, VMWare VCP, and Cisco CCNA. In his spare time, Jason is a contributor for The Center for Social & Legal Research (Privacy Exchange) and a member of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce. His hobbies include cycling and kayaking. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, two daughters and son.