Avira-Rohde-Schwarz-Cybersecurity

The Trojan Emotet Causes Millions in Damage: How Businesses Can Prevent Ransomware Attacks

A few days ago it became known that the mechanical engineering group Krauss Maffei based in Germany was hit by a serious cyber attack by Ransomware. The attack is suspected to be a variant of the trojan Emotet, which has already caused millions in damage to numerous companies. The Trojan infected the network, encrypted files and made them unusable. There was also a ransom demand. As a result of the attack, production at some of the company's sites could only be carried out with a throttled line, as many computers were paralysed as a consequence of the attack. Control systems in production and assembly could no longer be started.

But attacks like these are easy to prevent: The usual access points for such attacks are phishing emails. The hackers, for example, pretend to be business partners who send an invoice. If the recipient opens the attachment, the malware can implant itself on the company PC and spread throughout the network. These phishing emails are so well made today that the fraud can hardly be detected. "These phishing emails can be stopped with special UTM firewalls that scan email and web traffic. With the help of artificial intelligence technologies and behavioral analysis, even zero-day exploits can be detected. If an attachment is identified as malware, the firewall blocks the email. The Emotet malware, which is mentioned in connection with the attack on Krauss -Maffei, could have been stopped in this way," explains Markus Irle, Director Firewall at Rohde & Schwarz Cybersecurity in an interview with COMPUTERWOCHE.

Another essential protective measure against cyber attacks is that industrial companies separate their operational networks from the IT networks. The networks are often directly connected to each other, for example to send new programs and commands to machines. If you want to keep malware out of the controller, you have to isolate the two areas with a firewall. Even if the office IT is attacked, the machines can then continue to run unharmed.

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