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Cyber criminals are orchestrating a widespread scam by impersonating the Federal Circuit Court in emails and telling recipients they have been subpoenaed, in order to gain access to their computer files.

The scam works by sending an email, which looks like it has been sent from, telling recipients they have to visit court to give a testimony and encouraging them to click on a link to get the details of the case and court address for their appearance.

Once the users have clicked through and entered a security code, they are told to download a .zip file which contains so-called ransomware, which scammers can use to lock up key files before demanding money for their release.

The Federal Circuit Court is the latest in a growing list of big name organisations and companies to be imitated by cyber crime groups wanting to steal people's information or money.

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