The Threat

The eSentire Threat Intelligence team is aware of and tracking recent activity involving Emotet malware. While observations of the malware have declined since May 2019, researchers observed a new spam campaign delivering malicious documents associated with Emotet early on September 16th,  2019. 

Detection and prevention capabilities in eSentire products have been tested for this threat. The eSentire Threat Intelligence team will continue to monitor and update internal Security Operations teams with relevant context and indicators. 

What we’re doing about it: 

  • Known Command & Control IPs have been added to global AMP blacklist
  • Execution of Emotet payloads is prevented by eSentire’s Managed Endpoint Defense (MED)
  • Emotet payloads are detected by esENDPOINT and esNETWORK
  • The Threat Intelligence team will continue to monitor the topic for more information

What you should do about it:

End Users

  • Review details under Additional Informationsection below for awareness 
  • Report suspicious emails/documents to internal security teams

Network Administrators  

  • Review the Emotet guidance outlined by US-CERT.

Additional information:

What is Emotet? 
According to US-CERTEmotet is an advanced, modular banking Trojan that primarily functions as a downloader or dropper of other banking Trojans”. Emotet has been observed delivering other payloads including ransomware. 

What is the latest information on Emotet? 
Emotet activity has declined significantly since May 2019. In recent weeks, researchers began observing changes to the malware’s Command & Control (C2) infrastructure. Early on Monday, September 16th, 2019 Cofense Labs noted that Emotet’s spam operations had resumed.  

How is Emotet delivered? 
Malwarebytes has observed emails containing the subject line “RE: Payment Remittance Advice” with a malicious Word document attached.  The email body instructs the recipient to open the document which is disguised as a pay statement. 

What does the malicious document look like? 
Sandbox analysis of associated Word documents indicate the document prompts the user to update their license agreement by September 20th, 2019. 

Screenshot of the malicious document can be seen below:

image002

When executed, WMI is used to spawn PowerShell, connect to the C2 host and install malware. This behavior is blocked by eSentire’s MED service and detected with esENDPOINT/esNETWORK. 

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Articles and reports written by eSentire staff and our Threat Intelligence Research Group.

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