Criminals Extort Internet Users With Threat Of Compromising Videos

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Earlier this month bleeping computer reported on an ongoing extortion email campaign that emailed recipients their password and stated hackers had recorded the them over their webcam while they visited adult sites. Over the past week, scammers are now utilizing a new extortion email campaign that claims the recipient’s phone was hacked, includes a partial phone number of the recipient, and further states that they created videos using the recipient’s webcam. It then demands $1,000 USD in bitcoins or the hacker will release the video and other information. This new campaign was brought to their attention last week by security researcher SecGuru who has seen thousands of these email being distributed.

Tim Helming, Director of Product Management at DomainTools:

“This criminal campaign demonstrates how fragments of personal information all over the Internet can build up to paint a picture of an individual clear enough that fraudsters can extort them. The email addresses and passwords were likely lost in a data breach, and this information, when presented to someone alongside the threat of a potentially embarrassing video, provides criminals with enough leverage to blackmail them – although it’s highly unlikely the videos actually exist. Individuals should contact law enforcement if they are contacted with this kind of extortion rather than paying.”

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