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Why international efforts were needed to tackle EMOTET (Includes interview)

Police based in Britain
Police based in Britain

According to Interpol, law enforcement and judicial authorities worldwide have recently disrupted one of most significant botnets of the past decade. This is a malicious code known as EMOTET. Analysts have outlined the seriousness of the threat, noting that through a fully automated process, EMOTET malware was delivered to the victims’ computers via infected e-mail attachments. With this, the infection could arrive either via malicious script, macro-enabled document files, or malicious link.

Following the identification, investigators were able to successfully control of its infrastructure in an international coordinated action. he reported action was accompanied with arrests made in Ukraine.

Commenting for Digital Journal, Cath Goulding, CISO Nominet explains why the tackling of EMOTET matters so much. She states: “It is hard to overstate the significance of the achievement announced by Europol today in bringing the EMOTET botnet offline. It will have immediate effect from a cyber security perspective, with EMOTET consistently ranking as one of the most persistent threats facing individuals and organizations.”

In terms of the specific threat posed, Goulding outlines: “EMOTET was used as a springboard for a number of cyber criminal groups and attack techniques. The dismantling of its infrastructure will effectively kill a number of malicious operations, at least for the short term.”

Goulding also takes comfort in the way that the threat was tackled, pointing out: “What is even more significant than the immediate benefits is the precedent this sets for international collaboration in fighting back against widespread criminal organizations. For years, cyber criminals have exploited the complexity of enforcing cyber security law across borders.”

She concludes, stating that the announcement “signifies major progress in closing those gaps and holding cyber criminals to account. It is an achievement for all of the countries involved in this collaborative effort and establishes a process whereby international cyber crime can be thwarted.”

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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