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ONLINE SECURITY Cyber criminals pose as Swiss defence ministry

Retefe attacks in 2018
(Swiss Government Emergency Response Team)

French-speaking Switzerland has witnessed a spike in phishing attacks with cyber criminals sending fake emails on behalf of the Federal Department of Defence.

Twitter warning

Twitter warning

(Swiss Government Emergency Response Team)

MELANIexternal link, the Reporting and Analysis Centre for Information Assurance, warned on Thursday these messeages carry the computer virus "Retefe."

"Do not open attachments and immediately delete these emails," recommended Max Klaus, deputy director of MELANI in remarks to Swiss news agency Keystone-SDA. 

The malicious Trojan horse virus allows fraudsters to access victims' electronic banking (e-banking) credentials. 

"We know this virus well. It has been in operation for several years," noted Klaus.

Retefe is not only targeting eBanking customers in Switzerland but also in Liechtenstein, Austria and Norway, according to the Swiss Government Computer Emergency Response Team.external link

Multiple malspam waves hit Switzerland every week. 

Attackers have impersonated well-known Swiss online brands, such as, in a bid to lure users into opening attached documents or clicking on links.

What to do if attacked?

Swiss government computer experts have written a handy guideexternal link on how to reverse engineer the Retefe malware, 

Retefe attacks in 2018
(Swiss Government Emergency Response Team)


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