DocuSign Email Virus

Also Known As: DocuSign spam
Damage level: Medium

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 spam
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 Combo Cleaner.
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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 Combo Cleaner Antivirus 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 DocuSign.com, 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)

Another example of DocuSign-themed spam email used to promote a phishing website:

DocuSign-themed spam email promoting a phishing website (2021-01-28)

Text presented within:

Subject: Completed: Please DocuSign: Disclosure.pdf

You received a document. Review and Sign


Document pending review for:
Please view and confirm pending document. Sign for all documents to be released.
Do Not Share This E.mail
This e.mail contains a l.ink to DocuSign. Please do not share this e.mail, l.ink, or access code with others.
Alternate Signing Method
Visit DocuSign.com, click 'Access Documents', and enter the  code:
About DocuSign
Sign documents electronically in just minutes. It's safe, secure, and legally binding. Whether you're in an office, at home, on-the-go -- or even across the globe -- DocuSign provides a professional trusted answer for Digital Transaction Management™.
Questions about the Document?
If you need to modify the document or have questions about the details in the document, please reach out to the sender by emailing them directly.

If you are having trouble signing the document, please go to the Help with Signing page on our Support Center.
 Get the DocuSign App
This message was sent to you - via DocuSign Electronic Signature Service. If you would rather not receive e.mail from this sender you may contact the sender with your request.

Screenshot of the promoted phishing site:

DocuSign-themed phishing website

Yet another example of DocuSign-themed spam email used to spread Agent Tesla malware:

DocuSign-themed spam email spreading Agent Tesla (2022-01-18)

Text presented within:

Your document has been completed.

Hello -

kindly view attachment sent to you on  (16 Jan 2022)

To view document click the link below


Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Combo Cleaner 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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Quick menu:

Types of malicious emails:

Phishing email icon Phishing Emails

Most commonly, cybercriminals use deceptive emails to trick Internet users into giving away their sensitive private information, for example, login information for various online services, email accounts, or online banking information.

Such attacks are called phishing. In a phishing attack, cybercriminals usually send an email message with some popular service logo (for example, Microsoft, DHL, Amazon, Netflix), create urgency (wrong shipping address, expired password, etc.), and place a link which they hope their potential victims will click on.

After clicking the link presented in such email message, victims are redirected to a fake website that looks identical or extremely similar to the original one. Victims are then asked to enter their password, credit card details, or some other information that gets stolen by cybercriminals.

Email-virus icon Emails with Malicious Attachments

Another popular attack vector is email spam with malicious attachments that infect users' computers with malware. Malicious attachments usually carry trojans that are capable of stealing passwords, banking information, and other sensitive information.

In such attacks, cybercriminals' main goal is to trick their potential victims into opening an infected email attachment. To achieve this goal, email messages usually talk about recently received invoices, faxes, or voice messages.

If a potential victim falls for the lure and opens the attachment, their computers get infected, and cybercriminals can collect a lot of sensitive information.

While it's a more complicated method to steal personal information (spam filters and antivirus programs usually detect such attempts), if successful, cybercriminals can get a much wider array of data and can collect information for a long period of time.

Sextortion email icon Sextortion Emails

This is a type of phishing. In this case, users receive an email claiming that a cybercriminal could access the webcam of the potential victim and has a video recording of one's masturbation.

To get rid of the video, victims are asked to pay a ransom (usually using Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency). Nevertheless, all of these claims are false - users who receive such emails should ignore and delete them.

How to spot a malicious email?

While cyber criminals try to make their lure emails look trustworthy, here are some things that you should look for when trying to spot a phishing email:

  • Check the sender's ("from") email address: Hover your mouse over the "from" address and check if it's legitimate. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft, be sure to check if the email address is @microsoft.com and not something suspicious like @m1crosoft.com, @microsfot.com, @account-security-noreply.com, etc.
  • Check for generic greetings: If the greeting in the email is "Dear user", "Dear @youremail.com", "Dear valued customer", this should raise suspiciousness. Most commonly, companies call you by your name. Lack of this information could signal a phishing attempt.
  • Check the links in the email: Hover your mouse over the link presented in the email, if the link that appears seems suspicious, don't click it. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft and the link in the email shows that it will go to firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0... you shouldn't trust it. It's best not to click any links in the emails but to visit the company website that sent you the email in the first place.
  • Don't blindly trust email attachments: Most commonly, legitimate companies will ask you to log in to their website and to view any documents there; if you received an email with an attachment, it's a good idea to scan it with an antivirus application. Infected email attachments are a common attack vector used by cybercriminals.

To minimise the risk of opening phishing and malicious emails we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows

Example of a spam email:

Example of an email spam

What to do if you fell for an email scam?

  • If you clicked on a link in a phishing email and entered your password - be sure to change your password as soon as possible. Usually, cybercriminals collect stolen credentials and then sell them to other groups that use them for malicious purposes. If you change your password in a timely manner, there's a chance that criminals won't have enough time to do any damage.
  • If you entered your credit card information - contact your bank as soon as possible and explain the situation. There's a good chance that you will need to cancel your compromised credit card and get a new one.
  • If you see any signs of identity theft - you should immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission. This institution will collect information about your situation and create a personal recovery plan.
  • If you opened a malicious attachment - your computer is probably infected, you should scan it with a reputable antivirus application. For this purpose, we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
  • Help other Internet users - report phishing emails to Anti-Phishing Working Group, FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, National Fraud Information Center and U.S. Department of Justice.

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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 pcrisk.com 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.

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