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The Emotet malware is now being leveraged by ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) groups, including Quantum and BlackCat, after Conti’s official retirement from the threat landscape this year.

Emotet started off as a banking trojan in 2014, but updates added to it over time have transformed the malware into a highly potent threat that’s capable of downloading other payloads onto the victim’s machine, which would allow the attacker to control it remotely.

Although the infrastructure associated with the invasive malware loader was taken down as part of a law enforcement effort in January 2021, the Conti ransomware cartel is said to have played an instrumental role in its comeback late last year.

“From November 2021 to Conti’s dissolution in June 2022, Emotet was an exclusive Conti ransomware tool, however, the Emotet infection chain is currently attributed to Quantum and BlackCat,” AdvIntel said in an advisory published last week.

Typical attack sequences entail the use of Emotet (aka SpmTools) as an initial access vector to drop Cobalt Strike, which then is used as a post-exploitation tool for ransomware operations.

images from Hacker News