Malware attack is the nightmare of every PC user out there. As computing technologies are becoming advanced, the cybercriminals and hackers are also stepping up their game. New ways of hacking and unique malware are marking their presence in the IT world. Speaking of which a new malware by the name Emotet is currently making news globally.
In this guide, I will tell you how you can detect whether Emotet is present on your computer or not. Also, we will discuss what exactly this virus is and how can it attack a PC. As usual, the Windows OS users stand more vulnerable to this malware. I have also put up some easy tips that you can follow to keep your PC safe from Emotet malware.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is Emotet: How Does it Work
- 2 How to Detect Emotet Malware on any PC
- 2.1 Scan the PC using A Legit Anti-Virus Program
- 2.2 Look for Suspicious Programs/Services Running in Background
- 2.3 Follow These Instructions if You Use Torrent Websites
- 2.4 If Using WhatsApp Web Do Not Open .exe File
- 2.5 Do Not Open Email Attachments Without Verifying
- 2.6 Keep a Tab on Your Banking Transactions
What is Emotet: How Does it Work
Emotet Malware is primarily a malicious program that can steal user information such as mail login credentials, banking credentials, sensitive documents, personal media files, etc. A hacker or cyber-criminal can use this malware via a link, exe file accompanying as an email attachment, or any pop-up which the user clicks knowingly or unknowingly. Then that allows the malware to open the door for the hacker and gain access to the PC remotely.
Sometimes, this malware may accompany other malware as well. I mean this malware can just be used as a doorway to install other malicious programs such as Trojans or any other Ransomware. If the PC that gets infected with the malware is running along with other PCs on a network, then there are high chances that the malware or the inclusive virus will replicate and spread to other PCs on that network.
That’s why it is always advised to terminate the network and disconnect all the systems on a network if any suspicious malware activity is detected even on one PC of the network. Then all the systems are quarantined and systematically checked. Then a clean up is carried out to get the malware out of the system. This I’m saying about a network which may consist hundreds of systems running together in an enterprise.
How to Detect Emotet Malware on any PC
Now, let’s get to the important part of the guide. How do you get to know whether your PC is infected with Emotet or not?
Normally, I have observed most people are very lenient about their PC security. They do not frequently check for system security or update their PC officially. Some install cracked apps from untrusted sources. There is even a majority of people that don’t mind opening random links, pop-ups, and clickbait ads anywhere on the internet. Everyone using a computer should refrain from doing that.
So, here are a few do’s and don’t you can follow to detect the existence of Emotet malware and to keep your PC safe from getting infected with the malware.
Scan the PC using A Legit Anti-Virus Program
You must have heard it a thousand times that people say to use an anti-virus. Well, when I say legit, this means our anti-virus should be bought properly from its official website. Never download a free trial version from some random website. You will end up installing some malware without your knowledge.
Just once in a week make sure to check your PC for any malware or hidden application by doing a full system scan. Never turn off or disable your Anti-virus. Any proper and official anti-virus will immediately detect and warn you if the PC comes in contact with any suspicious program, link, or if you try to open any harmful website.
Let’s say you cannot afford an anti-virus program as these are expensive. Then do not worry. You can simply use the in-built Microsoft Defender and Firewall. Ensure not to install any dubious program from any random website or any link. The Defender is as good as any other commercial anti-virus.
Look for Suspicious Programs/Services Running in Background
If your PC is infected with Emotet malware without your knowledge, then you can detect it by keeping track of programs and services that are actively running on the PC. There is a way to detect suspicious programs.
- Press Ctrl +Shift + Esc to bring up task manager
- Then click on Services tab
- Then you will see all the active services going on in your PC
- Look for any service that is only having a 5 or 6-digit number. These services normally have no description.
In the screenshot above you are seeing the legit services that are either running or they are inactive but they have a name and a description of what kind of service they are.
If there is any service with 5 or 6 digit number, then immediately right-click on that service, and from the mini-menu click Stop to close them. Also, immediately run a scan on your Anti-virus to check for the location of any suspicious program within the PC and remove it as soon as it is detected.
Follow These Instructions if You Use Torrent Websites
Several people all around the world use torrent websites to download various programs, games, movies, etc. Just make sure that there are few things you must follow to avoid bringing down any malware to your PC.
- Never click on any advertisement you see on torrent sites
- Wait for the website/webpage to load properly otherwise if you click blindly here and there there are chances you may click on any ad or pop-up redirecting you to some suspicious website
- Always read comments of other users under any torrent file you are about to download. This will give you an idea whether the file is corrupted, consists of malware or is good to download
- If you see any pop-up saying your PC is infected with a virus and install xyz anti-virus to clean it, AVOID that at all costs. It is mostly some hacker trying to lure you into clicking on a malware link.
If Using WhatsApp Web Do Not Open .exe File
It is a new way of injecting malware into people’s devices. If you use WhatsApp Web or any such messaging application on its web client for desktop, then be aware of any message that includes any .exe file. If you click on such files, the hackers will take control of PC remotely, they may lock it or they will simply steal the banking details or sniff passwords, etc. Just imagine how much trouble it will cost you for one click.
Always hover over the file to know what extension does this file has. Likewise, if the file is a RAR file or zip file then also do not open it.
Do Not Open Email Attachments Without Verifying
Normally, the hackers send you malware via links through email attachments. If you get an email with any link, do not open it immediately. It may contain Emotet malware.
- Read the email carefully once or if required twice.
- Do not immediately click on any link or download any attachment just by being curious. You will only ask for trouble by doing this.
- If the attachment has any RAR/zip file, do not download or open it. This zip file may have any link or exe file. It’s better to avoid that.
- Check if the sender has encrypted the message or not.
- Also, check if the domain from which the sender is sending is legit or looks suspicious.
Observe carefully and then take any actions. Always stick to Gmail for safe use as it will filter out and put the possible suspicious emails in the spam section.
Keep a Tab on Your Banking Transactions
Again, here is another aspect of lack of seriousness that robs people of their hard-earned money. A majority of people do not keep track of their bank balance and transactions happening on an account. So, the first thing is to go to your bank or via the online process set up a notification alert for any transaction that takes place. Doesn’t matter it’s you who withdraws the money or there is any suspicious transaction.
If you notice any suspicious activity like withdrawal or online spending, then immediately report it to the online banking authorities and get your account blocked and also block the connected debit/credit card you use. Sometimes hackers can carry out their modus operandi without the user knowing what is happening in the background. So, the user has to stay aware of what’s happening with their online accounts and on their devices.
So, that’s it. Make sure to check your PC regularly using proper full-version anti-virus or Windows Defender to save it from Emotet malware attack or any kind of similar viruses. It’s hard for any virus to bypass active anti-virus security unless the user decides(knowingly/unknowingly) to override it for some reason. That you can avoid by following all the guidelines and instructions that I have put up above.