Email purporting to be from law firm Baker & McKenzie claims that you are scheduled to appear in court and should click a link to view a copy of the court notice.
The email is not from Baker & McKenzie and has no connection to the firm. Instead, it is an attempt by criminals to trick you into downloading and installing malware. This is just one version in a series of ‘court appearance’ malware emails that falsely claim to be from various law firms or legal entities. If you receive one of these emails, do not click any links or open any attachments that it contains.
Subject: Notice to Appear in Court
Baker & McKenzie
Notice to Appear,
Hereby you are notified that you have been scheduled to appear for your hearing that will take place in the court of Sacramento in September 1, 2014 at 12:00am. Please bring all documents and witnesses relating to this case with you to Court on your hearing date.
To view copy of the court notice click here. Please, read it thoroughly.
Note: If you do not attend the hearing the judge may hear the case in your absence.
Truly yours,Clerk of Court
© Baker & McKenzie 2014
Inboxes are currently being hit by a ‘Notice to Appear in Court’ email that claims to be from law firm Baker & McKenzie.
The email claims that you have been scheduled to appear in court on a specified date. The message also lists a location for the court hearing and suggests that you bring all related documents and witnesses when you attend.
The email instructs you to click a link to view a copy of the court notice and advises you to read the document thoroughly.
However, the email is not from Baker & McKenzie and has no connection whatsoever with that law firm. And the message is certainly not a legitimate court notice. You do not have to attend court as claimed in the email.
In fact, the email is a criminal ruse designed to trick you into installing malware on your computer. Clicking the link in the email will take you to a compromised website that harbours the malware.
Typically, once downloaded and installed, such malware can establish connections with servers operated by criminals, harvest sensitive information from the compromised computer, and download further malware components.
Details in the message, such as the supposed court date and location, may vary in different incarnations.
In fact, the fake Baker & McKenzie message is just one variant in a series of similar ‘notice to appear’ malware emails that have been distributed in recent months.
Another widely distributed version falsely claimed to be from a law company called Green Winick. The names of several other law firms have been used in other variants of the malware emails.
Some versions do not name a specific law firm but claim to have been sent directly by an official of a specified court.
All of the emails either link to a malware website or contain an attached file with the malware hidden inside.
Be wary of any unsolicited email that claims that you are required to appear in court and should click a link or open an attached file to access court documents. Legitimate law firms and court officials are very unlikely to contact people about a court appearance via an unsolicited email.