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Dangerous links and documents in e-mails are becoming more

Warning about Emotet: Caution, do not click!

Successful hacking attacks on universities have made the headlines in recent days. The example of the Justus Liebig University in Gießen and the incident that is making the rounds in the social media under #JLUoffline shows how dangerous one click too many can be. Therefore: Be careful!

What is Emotet?

The malware Emotet is able to read the contents of mailboxes. If it is active on a computer, it copies the messages in the mailboxes and can use them, including the email addresses stored there, for further attacks. People are deliberately deceived by the use of previous communication.

The malware endangers your own files, passwords and accounts. In addition, it spreads in your home and university network and thus also endangers other computers and users.

A few tips for behaviour:

  • Take a close look: Which e-mail address does the e-mail come from? Remember: e-mail addresses can be fake! If in doubt, check whether you know the sender(s)* and, if necessary, ask personally whether the e-mail is "genuine".
  • Be vigilant: Do not open Office or ZIP files for incoming messages unless you are absolutely sure that they are from the person who claims to be the sender! Not even if:

    • the person sending the message is known to you by name and
    • the mail seems to be a reply to already sent messages!

  • Do not "simply" click on links: Emotet is very versatile and also hides behind prepared links! As soon as you click on such a link, the disaster takes its course.
  • Take a close look: Where does the link lead to? To a website of the University of Cologne? To dubious websites (like "...weight-loss...")?
  •  First use the online virus check: https://www.virustotal.com/gui/home/url  Here you can first check whether one or more online virus scanners consider the URL to be safe.
  • Use the Windows Sandbox: This is a sealed-off operating system within the operating system on which a virus cannot cause any damage according to the current state of the art.
  •  If in doubt (or if you have accidentally clicked on a link or opened an attachment), contact your IT support, your IT coordination or the RRZK helpdesk and ask for advice.

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