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Avoid installation of TrickBot via the "You must go to the law court" email

Also Known As: You Must Go To The Law Court spam
Damage level: Severe

What is "You must go to the law court Email Virus"?

Typically, cyber criminals behind such emails (malspam) attempt to deceive users into installing malware onto their computers through an attached malicious file or website link. Commonly, emails of this type are disguised as important and official. To make them seem more legitimate, cyber criminals exploit names of well-known companies and organizations.

This particular email is disguised as a message regarding a subpoena, but actually contains a malicious attachment, which installs a Trojan called TrickBot.

You must go to the law court Email Virus malware-spreading email spam campaign

Cyber criminals behind this malspam campaign attempt to trick recipients into believing that they have received a message from the U.S. Department of Justice. The email states that whoever receives it must go to the court and bring documents, which can be found in the attached file.

In fact, the file attached to this email is a malicious Microsoft Excel document which installs TrickBot. Note that this document can install malware only if users enable macros commands (editing/content). TrickBot also operates as an information stealer. It is capable of collecting sensitive information by hijacking web browsers and modifying opened websites.

When victims enter login credentials (usernames, emails, passwords, etc.) on modified websites, TrickBot sends them to cyber criminals. Furthermore, this Trojan can hijack known applications such as WinSCP, Microsoft Outlook, and Filezilla. It can steal saved passwords, autofill data and other sensitive information saved on them.

Cyber criminals often use these malicious programs to steal email, social networking, banking and other personal accounts, cryptocurrency wallets, etc., and misuse them to make fraudulent purchases and transactions, spread malware further, trick other people into transferring money to them, and so on.

Note that some TrickBot versions can lock the screen. Therefore, never open the file attached to this malspam and, more importantly, do not enable macros commands.

Threat Summary:
Name You Must Go To The Law Court spam
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Hoax This email is disguised as a court summons.
Attachment(s) Case_3731201912-2020-001178.xls (its name might vary).
Detection Names DrWeb (Exploit.Siggen2.6138), ESET-NOD32 (DOC/Kryptik.L), Fortinet (MSExcel/Sneaky.AJ!tr), Ikarus (Trojan.Office.Doc), 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 TrickBot
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 Combo Cleaner.
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Other examples of similar malspam are "Inland Revenue Exchange System Email Virus", "Agenzia Entrate Email Virus", and "Wacker Email Virus". In most cases, the main purpose of these is to deceive recipients into executing a malicious file, which then infects computers with some high-risk malware.

Examples of other malicious programs that cyber criminals attempt to proliferate via malspam are NetWire, Kryptik, Ursnif and Adwind.

How did "You must go to the law court Email Virus" infect my computer?

Malspam is effective when recipients execute a malicious file, which is attached to the email, or they open a malicious website link and execute the downloaded malicious file. In this particular case, TrickBot can infect computers only if recipients open the attached malicious Microsoft Excel file and give it permission to enable content (macros commands).

Some examples of other files that cyber criminals attach to their emails are PDF documents, other Microsoft Office documents (like Word), executable files (.exe), archive files (ZIP, RAR), and JavaScript files.

Note that malicious documents opened with Microsoft Office versions released before 2010 infect computers automatically, since the older versions to not have Protected View mode, which prevents malicious files from installing malware.

How to avoid installation of malware

Programs and files should not be downloaded or installed through third party downloaders, installers, Peer-to-Peer networks (eMule, torrent clients), unofficial pages, or other channels of this kind.

Use official websites and direct links. Attachments and website links in irrelevant emails that are sent from unknown, suspicious addresses should not be opened - these emails are often sent by cyber criminals who often disguise them as important and official.

Furthermore, it is important update and activate software with tools that are designed by official software developers. Avoid third party, unofficial activators or updaters, since these tools often cause installation of malware. Furthermore, it is illegal to use any third party, unofficial tools to activate licensed software.

Keep computers safe by regularly scanning them for threats with reputable antivirus or anti-spyware software. If you have already opened "You must go to the law court Email Virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "You must go to the law court Email Virus" email message:

Subject: Your Subpoena

 

Hello,

 

You must go to the law court.

 

Case id: 3731201912-2020-001178

 

Date: 07/05/20

 

You have right to view the details of the charge attached.

 

You must prepare all the necessary documents that are listed in the attached file.

 

You have 14 days. If you do not prepare the documents, the court will take place without your particiation.

 

U.S. Department of Justice
950 PA Avenue, NW
Washington, DC
27904-00775

Malicious attachment distributed via "You must go to the law court Email Virus" spam campaign:

Malicious attachment distributed through You must go to the law court Email Virus spam campaign

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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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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