I'm concerned about a new breed of banking malware that seems to "sniff" traffic from APIs. How does it work, and...
By submitting your personal information, you agree that TechTarget and its partners may contact you regarding relevant content, products and special offers.
is it a significant departure from previous banking malware?
Threat Response Engineer Joie Salvio of Trend Micro Inc. wrote a blog post about new banking malware dubbed Emotet that captures data over the network by "sniffing" traffic. This attack method gained popularity with the release of dsniff, where passwords and other data were captured while going over the network unencrypted. Since then, it has been a race to encrypt all data in transport and at rest.
The latest Emotet malware added the step of monitoring data -- or "traffic sniffing" -- before it goes over the network. Other varieties of malware capture data from RAM or from keystrokes; this is an extension of these next techniques.
Emotet needs to first get installed on a victim system by a dropper or other such method. Once installed, the Emotet malware hooks Windows APIs -- just like antimalware tools hook APIs -- to capture data before it goes over the network encrypted. Emotet has functionality to decode the captured data and then store it encrypted in the registry.
As malware evolves, it will continue to find new places to capture, store or send data. Emotet has included many new functions to inject malicious DLLs that monitor traffic onto target networks and store malicious files and collected data in the registry. These features make Emotet more difficult to detect and stop. As new techniques are identified by advanced attackers -- such as storing data in slackspace or alternative data streams -- they are incorporated into modular malware to increase the effectiveness and profitability of the attack for criminals.
To protect against Emotet, enterprises should use the same steps they use to protect endpoints from malware, such as keeping up-to-date patches, not allowing users to run as an administrator, blocking spam, implementing anti-phishing security awareness and using antimalware network appliances to block malicious files from being downloaded. Enterprises should be sure to first verify that the tools used can detect this variety malware and malicious Windows API hooks.
Ask the Expert!
SearchSecurity expert Nick Lewis is ready to answer your enterprise threat questions -- submit them now! (All questions are anonymous.)
Dig Deeper on Malware, virus, Trojan and spyware protection and removal
Related Q&A from Nick Lewis
The CIA Vault 7 cache exposed the Brutal Kangaroo USB malware, which can be spread to computers without an internet connection. Learn how this is ...continue reading
Kaspersky Lab recently accused Windows 10 of acting as an antivirus block to third-party antimalware software. Discover how your software is being ...continue reading
QakBot malware triggered hundreds of thousands of Microsoft Active Directory account lockouts. Discover the malware's target and how these attacks ...continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.