DocuSign Email Virus

Also Known As: DocuSign secured document virus
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Medium

DocuSign Email Virus removal guide

What is DocuSign Email Virus?

"DocuSign Email Virus" is another spam email campaign used to proliferate a high-risk trojan called TrickBot. Developers send thousands of emails stating that users have received a "secure" document and must review and sign it. This is a scam - the opened MS Word document will stealthily download and install the TrickBot trojan.

DocuSign Email Virus malware

The email essentially states that users must electronically sign documents, however, this is a simple attempt to trick them into opening malicious documents that download and install malware. Note that the email contains the logo of DocuSign, a legitimate company. This is very common amongst cyber criminals. They register email addresses and domains by including names of popular companies and governmental agencies. This is done to give the impression of legitimacy - it is much simpler to trick users into opening documents received from familiar names. TrickBot is high-risk trojan designed to gather personal information. Immediately after infiltration, it hijacks browsers and modifies visited website content so that entered logins/passwords are saved on a remote server controlled by cyber criminals. The criminals can then gain access to users' personal accounts (social networks, emails, banks, etc.) Therefore, the presence of a malware such as TrickBot might lead to serious privacy issues and significant financial loss. If you have recently opened emails distributed via the "DocuSign Email Virus" spam campaign, you should immediately scan the system with a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite and eliminate all threats.

Threat Summary:
Name DocuSign secured document virus
Threat Type Trojan, Password stealing virus, Banking malware, Spyware
Symptoms Trojans are designed to stealthily infiltrate victim's computer and remain silent thus no particular symptoms are clearly visible on an infected machine.
Distribution methods Infected email attachments, malicious online advertisements, social engineering, software cracks.
Damage Stolen banking information, passwords, identity theft, victim's computer added to a botnet.
Malware Removal (Windows)

To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
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There are a number of trojans similar to TrickBot including, for example, Adwind, Emotet, and FormBook. Most are distributed using spam email campaigns. In addition, these viruses typically have identical behavior: they collect information. In some cases, however, trojans also proliferate other high-risk viruses, such as ransomware. In any case, these viruses pose a significant threat to your privacy and Internet browsing safety.

How did DocuSign Email Virus infect my computer?

As mentioned above, "DocuSign Email Virus" distributes a malicious Microsoft Word document that, once opened, asks users to enable macro commands. By complying, users grant permission for macro command within the document to run commands that stealthily download and install malware. This malware distribution method does, however, have a major flaw. The attachment is unable to download malware if it is opened using any software other than MS Word. If the file is opened using another app that is capable of reading .doc format, TrickBot will not be downloaded. In addition, TrickBot targets only Microsoft Windows Operating System and users of other platforms are safe.

How to avoid installation of malware?

To prevent this situation, be very cautious when browsing the Internet. Carefully analyze each email attachment received. Files that seem irrelevant and those received from suspicious/unrecognizable email addresses should never be opened. They should be deleted immediately, without reading. In addition, have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed and running. More recent versions (2010 and above) of MS Office open newly-downloaded documents in "Protected View" mode. This prevents malicious attachments from downloading and installing viruses. Therefore, using older MS Office versions is risky and not recommended. The main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and careless behavior. The key to safety is caution. If you have already opened the "DocuSign Email Virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "DocuSign Email Virus" email message:

You have received a secure document to review and sign.
File type: Microsoft Word
File Encryption: 2048 RSA
Do Not Share This Email
The information contained in this message may be confidential and legally privileged. It is intended only for use of the individual named. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that the disclosure, copying, distribution, or taking of any action in regards to the contents of this fax – except its direct delivery to the intended recipient – is strictly prohibited. If you have received this fax in error, please notify the sender immediately and destroy this cover sheet along with its contents, and delete from your system, if applicable..
This message was sent to you using the DocuSign Secure Electronic Encryption Service. If you would rather not receive email from this sender you may contact the sender with your request.

Malicious attachment distributed via "DocuSign Email Virus" spam campaign:

Malicious attachment distributed through DocuSign Email Virus spam campaign

Another variant of DocuSign spam email (if potential victims click on "View Document" button - this variant downloads a malicious file invoice_958306.xls - a macros malware that infect computers with trojans):

docusign spam email variant 2

Text presented in this fake email:

Subject: You received invoice from DocuSign Electronic Service
Review and sign the document.
Dear Receiver,
Please review this invoice
This is an electronically generated invoice.
This message keeps a secure information. Do not share this code with other people.
Other Signing Method
Please visit, click on 'Access Documents', enter the code: E80BC5C5F4
About DocuSign
Sign invoice in just minutes. It's secure. Whether you're in an office, at home or on-the-go -- Our service provides a professional solution for Digital Transaction Management.
Questions regarding an Invoice?
If you need to modify the document or have concerns about the details in the document, please reach out to the sender directly.
If you cannot see an invoice, please see the Help with Signing page on our support .
This message was sent to you by DocuSign Electronic Signature Service.

Screenshot of a malicious DocuSign-themed MS Excel document ("Bharat1085113_.xls") designed to inject Ursnif (Gozi) malware into the system:

DocuSign excel document used to spread Ursnif (Gozi) trojan

Another malicious Microsoft Word document distributed via DocuSign spam campaign. This document spreads Hancitor trojan:

DocuSign email spam campaign distributin Hancitor trojan

 Appearance of yet another DocuSign-themed spam email used to spread malware:

DocuSign spam email (2020-06-18)

Appearance of a DocuSign-themed malicious MS Excel document designed to inject TrickBot malware into the system:

DocuSign-themed MS Excel document used to inject TrickBot into the system (2020-07-13)

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
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How to remove malware manually?

Manual malware removal is a complicated task - usually it is best to allow antivirus or anti-malware programs to do this automatically. To remove this malware we recommend using Malwarebytes for Windows. If you wish to remove malware manually, the first step is to identify the name of the malware that you are trying to remove. Here is an example of a suspicious program running on a user's computer:

malicious process running on user's computer sample

If you checked the list of programs running on your computer, for example using task manager, and identified a program that looks suspicious, you should continue with these steps:

manual malware removal step 1 Download a program called Autoruns. This program shows auto-start applications, Registry, and file system locations:

screenshot of autoruns application

manual malware removal step 2Restart your computer into Safe Mode:

Windows XP and Windows 7 users: Start your computer in Safe Mode. Click Start, click Shut Down, click Restart, click OK. During your computer start process, press the F8 key on your keyboard multiple times until you see the Windows Advanced Option menu, and then select Safe Mode with Networking from the list.

Safe Mode with Networking

Video showing how to start Windows 7 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 8 users: Start Windows 8 is Safe Mode with Networking - Go to Windows 8 Start Screen, type Advanced, in the search results select Settings. Click Advanced startup options, in the opened "General PC Settings" window, select Advanced startup. Click the "Restart now" button. Your computer will now restart into the "Advanced Startup options menu". Click the "Troubleshoot" button, and then click the "Advanced options" button. In the advanced option screen, click "Startup settings". Click the "Restart" button. Your PC will restart into the Startup Settings screen. Press F5 to boot in Safe Mode with Networking.

Windows 8 Safe Mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 8 in "Safe Mode with Networking":

Windows 10 users: Click the Windows logo and select the Power icon. In the opened menu click "Restart" while holding "Shift" button on your keyboard. In the "choose an option" window click on the "Troubleshoot", next select "Advanced options". In the advanced options menu select "Startup Settings" and click on the "Restart" button. In the following window you should click the "F5" button on your keyboard. This will restart your operating system in safe mode with networking.

windows 10 safe mode with networking

Video showing how to start Windows 10 in "Safe Mode with Networking":


manual malware removal step 3Extract the downloaded archive and run the Autoruns.exe file.

extract and run autoruns.exe

manual malware removal step 4In the Autoruns application, click "Options" at the top and uncheck the "Hide Empty Locations" and "Hide Windows Entries" options. After this procedure, click the "Refresh" icon.

Click 'Options' at the top and uncheck 'Hide Empty Locations' and 'Hide Windows Entries' options

manual malware removal step 5Check the list provided by the Autoruns application and locate the malware file that you want to eliminate.

You should write down its full path and name. Note that some malware hides process names under legitimate Windows process names. At this stage, it is very important to avoid removing system files. After you locate the suspicious program you wish to remove, right click your mouse over its name and choose "Delete".

locate the malware file you want to remove

After removing the malware through the Autoruns application (this ensures that the malware will not run automatically on the next system startup), you should search for the malware name on your computer. Be sure to enable hidden files and folders before proceeding. If you find the filename of the malware, be sure to remove it.

searching for malware file on your computer

Reboot your computer in normal mode. Following these steps should remove any malware from your computer. Note that manual threat removal requires advanced computer skills. If you do not have these skills, leave malware removal to antivirus and anti-malware programs. These steps might not work with advanced malware infections. As always it is best to prevent infection than try to remove malware later. To keep your computer safe, install the latest operating system updates and use antivirus software.

To be sure your computer is free of malware infections, we recommend scanning it with Malwarebytes for Windows.

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Removal Instructions in other languages
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
DocuSign secured document virus QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of DocuSign secured document virus on your mobile device.
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