How to spot malspam campaings like the fake email from IGP Legal

Also Known As: IGP Legal malspam
Damage level: Severe

What is "IGP Legal" email virus?

We have determined that this email is fraudulent and has been written by cybercriminals with the intent of tricking the recipients into infecting their computers. This email is disguised as a letter from IPG Legal, claiming that it has a long overdue invoice attached to it. The purpose of the email is to entice recipients into infecting their computers.

IGP Legal email virus malware-spreading email

More about the "IGP Legal" email virus

This email is a fraudulent attempt by cybercriminals to trick the recipient into opening a malicious attachment. The email claims to be from a company called IPG Legal, a Customs and International Trade Law Firm and is written on behalf of their client, whose details are included in the attachment.

The email alleges that the recipient's company has failed to settle a long overdue invoice and demands that the debt is paid by February 27th, 2023, to avoid legal action. The email also urges the recipient to pass on the information to a legal department.

This letter has an archive file named "DETAILS AND INVOICES 6 PAGES .rar" attached to it (the name of the attachment may vary). That file contains a malicious executable designed to infect a computer with Formbook malware.

Formbook is capable of performing various malicious actions, such as clearing browser cookies, collecting passwords and capturing screenshots, downloading and executing files, downloading and unpacking ZIP archives.

Also, it is capable of launching commands via ShellExecute, rebooting the system, removing the bot from the host system, shutting down the system, and updating the bot on the host system.

Threat actors can use Formbook to compromise sensitive information, such as login credentials and personal data. Also, they can capture sensitive information displayed on the screen, download and execute files to inject other malicious software, use ShellExecute to give the Formbook control over the system, enabling it to execute further malicious actions, and more.

Threat Summary:
Name IGP Legal malspam
Threat Type Trojan, password-stealing virus, banking malware, spyware.
Hoax Recipient's company has failed to settle a long overdue invoice
Attachment(s) DETAILS AND INVOICES 6 PAGES .rar (its name may vary)
Detection Names (Malicious Executable) Avast (Win32:InjectorX-gen [Trj]), Combo Cleaner (Trojan.GenericKD.65548452), ESET-NOD32 (Win32/Formbook.AK), Kaspersky (HEUR:Trojan-Spy.Win32.Noon.gen), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/FormBook.SMT!MTB), 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 Formbook
Distribution methods Infected email attachments, malicious online advertisements, social engineering, software 'cracks'.
Damage Stolen passwords and banking information, identity theft, additional infections, system damage, data loss.
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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Similar emails in general

Emails containing malicious attachments are a common way for cybercriminals to distribute malware. These emails usually are disguised as legitimate communications from a trusted source. They contain attachments that, when opened, can execute malicious code that infects the recipient's computer with malware.

Examples of emails used to deliver malware are "Payment Remittance Advice Email Virus", "Interested In Buying From You Email Virus", and "Annual Leave Email Virus".

How did "IGP Legal email virus" infect my computer?

A computer gets infected via this email when the recipient downloads and extracts the archive file ("DETAILS AND INVOICES 6 PAGES .rar"), and then executes the included executable file ("DETAILS AND INVOICES 6 PAGES .exe").

Examples of other types of files used to trick recipients into infecting computers include Microsoft Office documents, PDF documents, JavaScript files, and shortcut files. Threat actors aim to convince recipients to open these files by disguising them as legitimate documents or including a misleading file name or extension.

How to avoid installation of malware?

To avoid infecting a computer, be cautious when opening email attachments (or links within emails), especially if the sender is unknown or the email looks suspicious. Do not download or install software from unverified or unknown sources, including third-party download sites and peer-to-peer (P2P) networks.

Also, keep the installed software, web browsers, and operating system up to date with the latest security patches and updates. Use reputable antivirus software and keep it up to date. If you've already opened "IGP Legal email virus" attachment, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.

Text presented in the "IGP Legal" email letter:


Dear -,

Good day

We are IPG Legal ( Customs and International Trade Law Firm) , We are writing you on behalf of our client whose details is also attached regarding the long overdue invoice your company has failed to settle.

We give you from now to 27th  Feb, 2023 to settle this long over due invoice or we proceed with legal actions against your company.  

Please pass this information to your legal department.

Sean Hayes

Sean-Hayes     Sean Hayes
IPG Legal
Tel: 82 70 7847 9050
Email: seanhayes@ipglegal.com

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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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why did I receive this email?

Cybercriminals can obtain email addresses in a variety of ways. One common method is through data breaches, where personal information, including email addresses, is stolen from a website or organization. Another way that cybercriminals can get your email address is through social engineering tactics, such as phishing scams or online surveys.

I have downloaded and opened a file attached to this email, is my computer infected?

Opening an archive file is not harmful, as archive files are containers for other files. However, the contents of this archive are harmful. Thus, your computer is probably infected if you have already opened the executable file within an archive file attached to this email.

I have read the email but didn't open the attachment, is my computer infected?

Merely opening an email is not harmful. Thus, it is safe to do so. However, clicking links or opening attachments within the email can result in a system infection.

Will Combo Cleaner remove malware infections that were present in email attachment?

Combo Cleaner is a malware detection and removal tool that can effectively identify and eliminate most known malware infections. However, it is important to note that advanced malware can often hide deep within a system. Therefore, performing a full system scan is highly recommended to ensure the complete removal of any malicious software.

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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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