Alert! Widespread malicious email virus
The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) is aware of a widespread malicious email virus (malware), known as 'Emotet', targeting Australian businesses and individuals.
Cybercriminals use malware for different reasons, most commonly to steal personal or valuable information from which they can profit, hold recipients to ransom or install damaging programs onto devices without your knowledge. Do not pay the ransom will fix your computer, and it could make you vulnerable to further attacks. REstore your files from backup and seek technical advice.
How it works
The Emotet malware appears as a normal or useful file attachments in emails (.doc, .dox, .PDF), but includes hidden code which allows cybercriminals to access and control your devices or computer systems. It can also appear as a website hyperlink in emails.
Emotet malware infects devices or computers if users click on links or open files in these emails, which are sent as phishing emails to make them look like they come from someone you know, or an organisation you deal with.
Once a use accounts is infected, the malware forwards itself to all the users' email contacts, increasing the likelihood or further
How do you stay safe?
Always use caution before opening emails and attachments, and clicking on links. To prevent malware infections, the ACSC recommends you take the following steps immediately:
- Disable Microsoft Office macros (Macros are small programs used to automate simple tasks in Microsoft Office documents but can be used maliciously - visit the Microsoft website for information on disabling macros in your version of Office)
- Maintain firewalls
- Make sure you have an offline backup of your information
The Money Edge | Bundaberg