Earlier this year, the FBI in partnership with the Dutch National High Technical Crimes Unit (NHTCU), German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) and other international law enforcement agencies brought down what Europol rereferred to as the world’s most dangerous malware: Emotet. This strain of malware dates back as far as 2014 and it became a gateway into infected machines for other strains of malware ranging from banking trojans to credential stealers to ransomware. Emotet was extremely destructive and wreaked havoc across the globe before eventually being brought to a halt in February.
Following the takedown, the FBI reached out and asked if Have I Been Pwned (HIBP) might be a viable means of alerting impacted individuals and companies that their accounts had been affected by Emotet. This isn’t the first time HIBP has been used by law enforcement in the wake of criminal activity with the Estonian Central Police using it for similar purposes a few years earlier.