When the notorious Emotet malware was attacked at the end of January, the Federal Criminal Police Office installed a malware update on tens of thousands of Windows PCs around the world in order to clean them up.
This emerges from the minutes of a meeting of the Interior Committee meeting in the German Bundestag on February 10, which the portal “netzpolitik.org” published in full. At the meeting, BKA President Holger Münch reported on the destruction of the malware and the legal framework.
When used against a suspect in the Ukraine, BKA officials were also involved, described Münch. It was possible to get an “open computer” of the alleged mastermind into the hands. This computer was used to distribute a modified variant of the malware via the Emotet network. As a result of the update, infected computers all over the world no longer reported to the criminals’ servers, but to police-controlled servers. This enabled the extent of the malware network to be documented and those affected to be warned. The on behalf of BKA According to Münch, modified malware will uninstall itself on April 25th.
Emotet Destroyer will uninstall itself again
The Emotet software has been widely used by criminals for cyber attacks. Hidden in an inconspicuous Word document, it was often disguised as a seemingly harmless attachment to an email or as a link. Emotet broke into computer networks and opened up the possibility of copying or blocking sensitive data. The perpetrators used it to blackmail companies and authorities. Many private computer users also fell into the Emotet trap.
Münch said in the meeting that Emotet was not just a simple piece of malware, but that it had also given criminals the opportunity to reload other malware through an open door. “The potential for damage is correspondingly high because these infected computers can then be further infected by other malware, so to speak.”
At the meeting, the President of the BKA campaigned for a stable legal basis for such actions. From a legal point of view, the adjustment was judged to be a “seizure” with technical means, based on the decisions of the Giessen District Court at the request of the Frankfurt Public Prosecutor’s Office.
Source: DIGITAL FERNSEHEN by www.digitalfernsehen.de.
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