In 2019, the Nj Cybersecurity & Communications Integration Cell (NJCCIC) received reports of trojan activity delivered via New Jersey email accounts, largely consistent with Proofpoint’s Threat Insight 2019 in Review: Year of the RAT. Dominating the 2019 threat landscape with frequently changing tactics was Emotet, a polymorphic trojan malware capable of stealing passwords and downloading additional malware. Other popular trojans were NetWire RAT and TrickBot.

Threat actors used social engineering tactics and phishing email campaigns to trick users into clicking on links and opening attachments that install trojans on their systems. Trojans can load additional malware onto compromised systems such as keyloggers, remote administration tools, or ransomware to wreak havoc on computer systems, access and steal data, or encrypt files.

The NJCCIC recommends users refrain from clicking on links or opening attachments delivered in unexpected or unsolicited emails, and to avoid enabling macros in Word documents, even those from known senders. Users are advised to run updated anti-virus/anti-malware programs on all devices and enable multi-factor authentication where available to prevent account compromise as a result of credential theft. Users may report incidents to the NJCCIC via the Cyber Incident Report Form.