4th Circuit's Site Had a Java Problem; Fake Court Email Virus Spreads

By William Peacock, Esq. on January 17, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Get any emails about last-minute court hearings in unfamiliar cases? They're fake (almost certainly), and the attachments carry a pair of nasty viruses.

Plus, an update to Java, the annoying app that loves to bug you with update reminders, broke the Fourth Circuit's website on Wednesday.

Security Warning: Spoof Court Emails

The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AOUSC) just posted a security alert which warns that fake emails, claiming to be coming from federal court clerks, are part of an ongoing email virus threat.

The emails claim that an impending court hearing has been scheduled, and the attachments, of course, contain nasty malware. The emails appear to come from both federal and state courts, as well as some apparently hijacked BigLaw email addresses from Jones Day and Hogan Lovells.

We have further details on the viruses themselves, as well as tips for removal, on our Strategist blog.

In the meantime, the AOUSC advises lawyers to check with their local court if you receive any emails about unfamiliar cases. For the Fourth Circuit, the phone number is (804) 916-2700.

Finally, we'd advise you to spread the word to family, friends, and clients. Variants of the emails have targeted non-lawyers as well, with some claiming that a hearing has been scheduled on their infringement of intellectual property.

Java Killed the Radio Star Court Website

Oracle updated their widely-used, and often-irritating Java to "version 7 update 51" on Tuesday. It briefly broke the Fourth Circuit's website.

Apparently Appellate CM/ECF, the case management system, blocked users with the newest version from logging on. The problem has since been fixed, but the court advises anyone with questions or issues to call the Fourth Circuit ECF Help Desk at 804-916-2767.

Have you received a local state or federal court variant of the email virus? Tweet us @FindLawLP and we'll update the post to warn others.

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