Security Experts:

Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

SecurityWeekSecurityWeek

Cybercrime

Emotet Using TrickBot to Get Back in the Game

Roughly one million computers were freed of the Emotet malware in April this year, but the botnet might reappear, as the Trojan’s developers have apparently started distributing it again.

Roughly one million computers were freed of the Emotet malware in April this year, but the botnet might reappear, as the Trojan’s developers have apparently started distributing it again.

Emotet, which emerged in 2014, became one of the most prevalent threats of the decade, evolving into a malware downloader that allowed cybercriminals to disseminate malware such as TrickBot, the Ryuk ransomware, and the QakBot banking Trojan, as well as various other threats.

In January 2021, law enforcement agencies announced they were able to take down Emotet as part of a global operation, and in April the Dutch police issued an uninstall command to clean up roughly one million computers.

Over the weekend, however, security researchers have observed signs that Emotet’s developers are attempting to resurrect the botnet, leveraging their partnership with TrickBot for that.

Security researchers with G Data say they are highly confident that a DLL that TrickBot was observed distributing on Sunday is Emotet, and also note that the samples were compiled just before the deployment: “timestamp : 6191769A (Sun Nov 14 20:50:34 2021).”

The researchers note that, while the network traffic associated with the sample is highly similar to that previously observed for the malware, the encryption is different and HTTPS with a self-signed server certificate is now used.

Furthermore, flattened control flows continue to be used for code obfuscation within the sample, which strengthens the researchers’ assumption that Emotet is attempting a return.

It appears that, for the time being, Emotet’s developers are only looking to rebuild the botnet, but it might not be too long before the threat is back at distributing malware, as it did before.

Related: Uninstall Command Completes Emotet Botnet Cleanup Operation

Related: Ryuk Ransomware Attacks Continue Following TrickBot Takedown Attempt

Related: Russian Man Extradited to U.S. for Role in TrickBot Malware Development

Written By

Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

Click to comment

Expert Insights

Related Content

Cybercrime

Zendesk is informing customers about a data breach that started with an SMS phishing campaign targeting the company’s employees.

Cybercrime

The release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in late 2022 has demonstrated the potential of AI for both good and bad.

Cybercrime

The FBI dismantled the network of the prolific Hive ransomware gang and seized infrastructure in Los Angeles that was used for the operation.

Malware & Threats

Microsoft plans to improve the protection of Office users by blocking XLL add-ins from the internet.

Cybercrime

A new study by McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) named a staggering figure as the true annual cost of...

Cybercrime

CISA, NSA, and MS-ISAC issued an alert on the malicious use of RMM software to steal money from bank accounts.

Cybercrime

Video games developer Riot Games says source code was stolen from its development environment in a ransomware attack

Application Security

PayPal is alerting roughly 35,000 individuals that their accounts have been targeted in a credential stuffing campaign.