Open this malware or I'll sue you

The latest social engineering trick to get victims to open malicious email attachments accuses them of being spammers and threatens to sue them if they don't stop.

It's all in an attempt to get targets to open up the zip attachment by telling them it contains evidence of their spamming. Actually it's an .exe file that infects the machine but displays like a document, according to the Websense Security Labs Blog.

MORE: Bigger isn't better when it comes to social engineering attacks

The attachment installs a downloader Trojan that copies itself to the system path so it executes when the system boots up. It connects to remote servers to download specific exploit files. The blog says the current attacks could contain other variants of the Trojan as attachments.

The new attack cropped up Monday in WebSense's ThreatSeeker network that gathers data about malicious email campaigns. The emails are dressed up to look like they come from real businesses that is upset because the recipient has been spamming them. "The emails even formally claims that legal action will be taken because of the spam you have sent," says the blog.

The blog includes an image containing the text of one such email: "Hello. Your email is sending spam messages! If you don't stop sending spam, we will be impelled to sue you! We've attached a scanned copy of the document assembled by our security service to this letter. Please carefully read through the document and stop sending spam messages. This is the final warning!

Subject lines include "You are sending ad messages", "We are going to sue you", "This is the final warning", "We've sent you a copy of a complaint" and "A message from our security service".

Read more about wide area network in Network World's Wide Area Network section.

Join the CSO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags antispamsecurityanti-malwarewebsensesocial engineering

More about LANRSAWebsense

Show Comments

Featured Whitepapers

Editor's Recommendations

Solution Centres

Stories by Tim Greene

Latest Videos

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Will your data protection strategy be enough when disaster strikes?

    Speakers: - Paul O’Connor, Engagement leader - Performance Audit Group, Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) - Nigel Phair, Managing Director, Centre for Internet Safety - Joshua Stenhouse, Technical Evangelist, Zerto - Anthony Caruana, CSO MC & Moderator

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: The Human Factor - Your people are your biggest security weakness

    ​Speakers: David Lacey, Researcher and former CISO Royal Mail David Turner - Global Risk Management Expert Mark Guntrip - Group Manager, Email Protection, Proofpoint

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Current ransomware defences are failing – but machine learning can drive a more proactive solution

    Speakers • Ty Miller, Director, Threat Intelligence • Mark Gregory, Leader, Network Engineering Research Group, RMIT • Jeff Lanza, Retired FBI Agent (USA) • Andy Solterbeck, VP Asia Pacific, Cylance • David Braue, CSO MC/Moderator What to expect: ​Hear from industry experts on the local and global ransomware threat landscape. Explore a new approach to dealing with ransomware using machine-learning techniques and by thinking about the problem in a fundamentally different way. Apply techniques for gathering insight into ransomware behaviour and find out what elements must go into a truly effective ransomware defence. Get a first-hand look at how ransomware actually works in practice, and how machine-learning techniques can pick up on its activities long before your employees do.

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: Get real about metadata to avoid a false sense of security

    Speakers: • Anthony Caruana – CSO MC and moderator • Ian Farquhar, Worldwide Virtual Security Team Lead, Gigamon • John Lindsay, Former CTO, iiNet • Skeeve Stevens, Futurist, Future Sumo • David Vaile - Vice chair of APF, Co-Convenor of the Cyberspace Law And Policy Community, UNSW Law Faculty This webinar covers: - A 101 on metadata - what it is and how to use it - Insight into a typical attack, what happens and what we would find when looking into the metadata - How to collect metadata, use this to detect attacks and get greater insight into how you can use this to protect your organisation - Learn how much raw data and metadata to retain and how long for - Get a reality check on how you're using your metadata and if this is enough to secure your organisation

    Play Video

  • 150x50

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them

    CSO Webinar: How banking trojans work and how you can stop them Featuring: • John Baird, Director of Global Technology Production, Deutsche Bank • Samantha Macleod, GM Cyber Security, ME Bank • Sherrod DeGrippo, Director of Emerging Threats, Proofpoint (USA)

    Play Video

More videos

Blog Posts

Market Place