Fake Greta Thunberg Emails

Fake Greta Thunberg Email Spreads A Dangerous Malware

Fake Greta Thunberg Emails Used to Ensnare New Victims

Stories of brave individuals fighting for the overall betterment of our environmental conditions warm our hearts. We all felt a collective energy as we supported Greta Thunberg, the 17-year old environmental activist. It is unfortunate that hackers are misusing this pure sentiment to their own illegal ends. It is holiday season, and the criminals know our guards will be down. They seem to have chosen a perfect time to attack.

1.1      What is the fuzz about?

The Emotet Malware strikes again. While we have already covered the working of the Emotet in a previous blog, this particular case is worth studying as it targets a collective sentiment that may claim victims in bunches.

Cybersecurity researchers at Proofpoint cautioned against an active campaign that is using the rising attention garnered by Greta Thunberg to launch the dangerous Emotet botnet. The threat piggybacks on a Microsoft Word attachment entitled “Support Greta Thunberg.doc.”

email body

The email further contains a link which supposedly contains details for the ‘protest’. Clicking the link triggers the activation of the Emotet botnet, putting Windows users at a heavy risk. A large percentage of the intended targets are fuelled up students who have strong opinions on the whole Greta Thunberg movement that is currently making big news. Proofpoint declared that .edu domains were dominantly targeted for this attack.

Moreover, NakedSecurity, an organization working towards better cybersecurity awareness, explains what happens if you do click the link by accident.

A link click triggers the download of an innocent-looking word file. The word file then causes  an errors saying you need to click the ‘Enable Editing’ option in order to view the content of the word file.

word body

If you select this option, Emotet runs a macro which then starts its damaging work on your system.

1.2      What do I do to protect myself?

  • Be wary of opening attachments that contain ‘crucial information’ that could’ve otherwise been conveyed through the body of the email.
  • Microsoft Word —and other trusted applications — disables some features (like the Enable Editing option) for your Do not disregard those because an attachment throws you into an impasse.
  • Sharpen your knowledge on the current security scenario so your ‘cautioning voice’ automatically makes you think twice about shady emails or bait links. If you’re caught unaware, you won’t take precautions while dealing with your online presence.
  • Choose good quality security systems that can filter your email traffic and block potential threats before they cause much damage.

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