Email purporting to be from the Federal Court of Australia claims that ‘you’ve been subpoenaed’ and should click a link to get further information related to the case.
The email is not from the Federal Court of Australia and you have not been subpoenaed. The link in the email opens a website that contains malware. If you receive this email, do not click any links or open any attachments that it contains.
This rather official looking email, which purports to be from the Federal Court of Australia, claims that ‘a subpoena has been ordered to you’ and you must therefore visit a court on a specified date to give evidence. The email features a link that supposedly provides access to all information related to the case along with the address of the court you are required to attend. It warns that, if you do not comply with a subpoena, a court may issue a warrant for your arrest.
However, the email is certainly not from the Federal Court of Australia and the claim that you have been subpoenaed is untrue.
If you click the link in the email, you will be taken to a fraudulent website that has been designed to emulate the real Federal Court of Australia website. Once on the bogus site, you will be asked to enter a case number and then download what is claimed to be a document with ‘case related information’.
But, alas, the download does not contain any information about a court case. Instead, it contains malware that can infect your computer.
The Federal Court of Australia has posted a notice on its website warning about the malware attack. It notes:
Neither the Federal Court nor the Federal Circuit Court issue subpoenas in such an informal way. These emails have not been issued by the Court and are fraudulent.
This malware campaign is similar to an earlier attack in which emails purporting to be from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) falsely claimed that you had received a subpoena. Again, a link in the email opened a website that contained malware.
In fact, over the last several years, there have been a number of malware attacks that consist of fake ‘notice to appear in court‘ emails.
If you receive one of these emails, do not click any links or open any attachments that it contains.
Last updated: July 14, 2016
First published: July 14, 2016
By Brett M. Christensen