Avoid infecting your device with malware from "Supreme Court" emails

Also Known As: AsyncRAT virus
Type: Trojan
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Severe

"Supreme Court" email virus removal guide

What is "Supreme Court Email Virus"?

The "Supreme Court" email, is a deceptive letter designed to proliferate the AsyncRAT (Remote Access Trojan). This scam email is disguised as a notice of a new filing from the Supreme Court. The malicious file attached to the letter is presented as containing important information concerning the filing. If this file is opened, it initiates the infection process of AsyncRAT malware.

Fake Supreme Court malware-spreading email spam campaign

The fake "Supreme Court" letter states that in accordance to the "Supreme Court of Judicature Act 1873", by powers of Investiture, recipients are informed of a new filing. The case is specified as "Case No: 201605644-45 A2". This requires the attention of the recipients' firms. Relevant information is supposedly encompassed in the attached PDF document. Recipients are given a deadline to provide specific information, which is listed in the document. It must be emphasized that these "Supreme Court" scam emails claim is false and they must not be trusted. If the virulent file is opened - it will trigger the infection process (i.e. download/installation) of AsyncRAT. Remote access trojans enable remote access and control over the infected device. These malicious programs can have various abilities/functionalities, which allow a likewise broad range of potential misuse. Some of the main purposes of AsyncRAT is stealing information and causing chain infections (i.e. downloading/installing ransomware, cryptominers and other malware). Therefore, AsyncRAT can cause various system infections, financial losses, severe privacy issues and identity theft. If it is known or suspected that AsyncRAT (or other malware) has already infected the system, an anti-virus must be used to eliminate it immediately.

Threat Summary:
Name AsyncRAT virus
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Hoax Emails are presented as Supreme Court notices concerning a new filing.
Attachment(s) Case No 201605644-45 A2.img
Detection Names BitDefenderTheta (Gen:NN.ZemsilF.34108.qm0@a4jC2nj), Fortinet (MSIL/Kryptik.UIR!tr), ESET-NOD32 (A Variant Of MSIL/Kryptik.VFL), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-PSW.MSIL.Agensla.gen), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Symptoms Trojans are designed to stealthily infiltrate the victim's computer and remain silent, and thus no particular symptoms are clearly visible on an infected machine.
Payload AsyncRAT
Distribution methods Infected email attachments, malicious online advertisements, social engineering, software 'cracks'.
Damage Stolen passwords and banking information, identity theft, the 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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Deceptive/Scam emails are distributed by the thousand, during large scale operations termed "spam campaigns". "U.S Department of Labor", "BBVA Email Virus", "Polícia de Segurança Pública" and "Apex Enquiry Email Virus" are a few examples of other malware-spreading spam campaigns. The letters are usually presented as "official", "important", "urgent" and similar; they can even be disguised as mail from legitimate institutions, organizations, companies, businesses, service providers, and so on. Spam campaigns can also be used for phishing and other scams. Regardless of what these emails claim, request or demand, the end-goal is the same - to generate revenue for the cyber criminals / scammers behind them.

How did "Supreme Court Email Virus" infect my computer?

Systems are infected through virulent files, distributed via spam campaigns. Infectious files can be attached to the deceptive/scam emails, alternatively the letters can contain download links of them. These files can be in various formats, such as: archives (ZIP, RAR, etc.), executables (.exe, .run, etc.), Microsoft Office and PDF documents, JavaScript, etc. When malicious files are executed, run or otherwise opened - it jumpstarts malware download/installation. For example, Microsoft Office documents infect systems by executing malicious macro commands. In MS Office versions released before 2010 this process begins automatically. The newer versions request users to enable macros (i.e. to enable editing/content); hence, the infection process is only initiated after the macro commands are enabled.

How to avoid installation of malware?

To avoid malware proliferated through spam campaigns, it is advised not to open suspicious and/or irrelevant emails, especially attachments or links found in them. It is recommended to use Microsoft Office versions released after 2010. These versions have "Protected View" mode, which prevent infection processes being initiated upon a virulent document being opened. Other popular distribution methods of malicious programs include - untrustworthy download channels (e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders), illegal activation tools ("cracks") and fake updaters. Therefore, it is important to always use official/verified download sources, activate and update programs with tools/functions provided by genuine developers. To ensure device integrity and user safety, it is crucial to have a reputable anti-virus/anti-spyware installed and kept updated. This software must be used to run regular system scans and to remove detected/potential issues. If you've already opened "Supreme Court Email Virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "Supreme Court" email letter:

Subject: Case No:201605644-45 A2

 

Hello,

 

Following the Supreme Court of Judicature Act 1873, by powers of Investiture, we hereby call to your notice of a new filing (Case No: 201605644-45 A2) needing your fir m's attention. Further information to this regard is contained in the attached PDF.

 

Your are required to provide the information therein requested no later than Friday, 15th May 2017.

 

Please let me know if you have any questions

 

Regards,

 

Richard Heaton (Permanent Secretary)
ON BEHALF OF
Sir Terence Etherton (Master of the Rolls)
Supreme Court

 

1 202-479-3000
Email: efilingsupport@supremecourt.gov 

Screenshot of VirusTotal detections of the malicious attachment ("Case No 201605644-45 A2.img"), distributed via "Supreme Court" email spam campaign:

Supreme Court deceptive email malicious attachment detections

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 1Download 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 autoruns.zip and run autoruns.exe

manual malware removal step 4In the Autoruns application, click "Options" at the top and uncheck "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 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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Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

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

QR Code
AsyncRAT virus QR code
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