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Frankfurt city IT network taken offline to stop Emotet botnet

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The city of Frankfurt has come under cyberattack and was forced to take its network offline to prevent further damages, it was announced earlier this week.

Frankfurt fell victim to Emotet – a malware that makes money by renting out infected devices to hackers looking to spread more destructive malware or ransomware.

Bringing a network offline means huge losses and is only done in most extreme and serious situations. Frankfurt's case is quite severe, as reports say all systems have gone offline, from the city's website, to public transport ticketing services.

According to local media, the city of Frankfurt got infected after an employee opened a malicious email attachment.

This attack doesn't seem to be an isolated case. The media are reporting that hackers have been increasignly targeting Germany, and that just days before this attack, the Justus Liebig University (JLU) in Gießen, Bad Homburg and the Catholic University in Freiburg have all been infected with Emotet.

The Justus Liebig University wasn't as lucky as the other ones. Being the first in line to get infected, Emotet ended up spreading the Ryuk malware throughout the University's network, resulting in some 38,000 students, teachers and employees, needing new passwords.

Even though shutting down a network is almost standard practice when it comes to ransomware, this is the first time ever that someone turned off their network because of Emotet.

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in writing various types of content, from blogs, whitepapers, and reviews to ebooks, and many more, across sites including Al Jazeera Balkans, TechRadar Pro, IT Pro Portal, and CryptoNews.