Home Malware Fake ‘Order Status’ Emails Contain Locky Malware

Fake ‘Order Status’ Emails Contain Locky Malware

by Brett M. Christensen

‘Order Status’ emails thank you for your recent order and claim that you can view details of the supposed order by opening an attached .zip file.

Brief Analysis:
The emails are not legitimate order notifications. The attached .zip file contains a malicious JavaScript (.js) file. If opened, this .js file can download and install Locky ransomware. Once installed, Locky encrypts the files stored on your computer and then demands that you pay online criminals a fee to receive a decryption key.

Subject: FW: Order Status #168750

Dear sales,
We would like to thank you for your recent order.Order Status updated on: 21/03/2016
Your Customer ID: 168750
Your Order ID: 951E514AE5-M-2016
Invoice Number: 4186369Delivery Note:
We received your order and payment on 17/03/2016Your order details are attached.

Best regards,
Rita Rowland
Chief Technology Officer



Subject: FW: Order Status #241785

Dear brett,

We would like to thank you for your recent order.

Order Status updated on: 21/03/2016
Your Customer ID: 241785
Your Order ID: 0D95B02626-M-2016
Invoice Number: 8866173

Delivery Note:
We received your order and payment on 17/03/2016

Your order details are attached.

Best regards,
Joan Huber
Business Director USA Job

Detailed Analysis:
A spate of emails currently hitting inboxes purport to be ‘order status’ notifications and claim that you can read more information about a recent order by opening an attached .zip file. The emails have the subject line ‘FW: Order Status’ along with a supposed order number. The bodies of the emails thank you for your recent order and list further details about the supposed order. They finish with the name and job description of the supposed sender.

However, these emails are certainly not legitimate order notifications and the attachments do not contain order details. Instead, the attached .zip files harbour a malicious JavaScript (.js) file. If you click this .js file, it will download and install Locky malware on your computer. Once Locky is installed, it will encrypt all of your personal files and rename them with the extension .locky. A message will appear on your screen that explains that your files are locked and you must pay a ransom in online currency Bitcoin to get a decryption key.  And, the only way you can pay this ransom and – possibly – get the decryption key is to make contact with criminals skulking in the Dark Web. Since you are dealing with criminals, there is certainly no guarantee  that you will actually receive the key even if you do pay up.

Unfortunately, there is no easy way of ridding the computer of this malware. However, if you have good recent backups, you may be able to reformat the computer and reinstall your files from these backups.

Details, such as order, invoice, and customer numbers as well as the name and job description of the supposed sender may vary in different versions of these emails. Note also that there are several other similar payment related malware emails being distributed. These emails also contain Locky. Be very wary of any email that claims to contain information about a declined payment, an accepted payment, bank documents, credit notes, recent orders, or other payment or invoice related issues. If you receive one of these emails, do not open any attachments that it contains.

Locky Ransomware

Last updated: March 22, 2016
First published: March 22, 2016
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

‘Payment Declined’ Emails Contain Locky Ransomware
Bogus ‘Payment Accepted’ Email Carries Locky Ransomware
‘Received Documents From Your Bank’ Emails Contain Locky Ransomware
‘Locky’ ransomware – what you need to know


Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,