Home Malware Threatening ‘Final Notice – Outstanding Account’ Emails Contain JavaScript Malware

Threatening ‘Final Notice – Outstanding Account’ Emails Contain JavaScript Malware

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline:
‘Final Notice’ email claims that, despite numerous requests, you have failed to pay an outstanding debt and the sender will therefore commence legal proceedings if you do not pay by a specified date.

Brief Analysis:
The email is not a legitimate request for an outstanding payment and the attached .zip file does not contain payment details as claimed. Instead, the attachment contains a malicious JavaScript (.js) file that, if opened, can download and install malware on your computer.


Example:
Subject: FINAL NOTICE – OUTSTANDING ACCOUNT

Dear Client,We are writing concerning the amount of $2793.82 which was due to be paid on 01.05.2016 and, despite numerous requests for payment, remains outstanding. Details attached to this email. We demand that payment of the full amount be paid to us on or before 10.05.2016. If this account is not resolved by the specified date we reserve the right to commence legal proceedings to recover the debt without further notice to you, and you may be responsible for any associated legal fees or collection costs. If you wish to prevent this, please contact the undersigned as a matter of urgency and settle your account before the above date.

Regards,
[Name Removed] 
Managing Director



Detailed Analysis:
This rather threatening ‘Final Notice’ email claims that you have not settled an outstanding account despite numerous previous requests for payment. It warns that legal action will be taken to recover the debt if it is not paid in full by a specified date. You can supposedly access details about the outstanding account by opening an attached file.

However, the email is not a genuine request for payment and the attached .zip file does not contain account information as claimed. If you open the attached .zip file, you will find that it contains a JavaScript (.js) file. If you then open the .js file in the hope of viewing the promised account information, a malicious JavaScript will run. The script will download and install malware on your computer.

The exact nature of this malware may vary. Malicious JavaScript files have recently been used to instal Locky Ransomware. They have also been used to install other types of malware that can steal information such as online banking login details from infected computers.

The criminals responsible for this attack bank on the fact that at least a few people will be panicked or angered into opening the attachment without due caution. This version is just one in an ongoing series of bill, banking, and invoice related emails that contain JavaScript malware. Very similar variants of the above email have the subject line ‘Third Reminder – Outstanding Account’.

Details, such as the amount of money supposedly owing, the name of the sending staff member, and the name of the attachment may also vary in different versions of these emails.

If you receive one of these emails, do not open any attachments or click any links that it contains.




Beware Malware

Last updated: May 6, 2016
First published: May 6, 2016
By Brett M. Christensen
About Hoax-Slayer

References
Fake ‘Order Status’ Emails Contain Locky Malware
Malware Threat Articles

 

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,
Hoax-Slayer