Saturday, December 05, 2020

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Porn blackmail email scamming is doing the rounds again

Online criminals seek different ways of trying to extort money from you and porn blackmail by email is rife. There is a low barrier of entry in a commodity attack of porn blackmail email scamming and online criminals don’t need any hacking skills to pull off the scamming. Stolen data is available online that may have come from previous thefts from old breaches from Yahoo, Dropbox and LinkedIn, and these blackmailing emails spark up enough panic in order for it to be worth it to them.

Some criminals use botnet which is a network of computers taken over by hackers using malicious software typically spread via infected web pages or email attachments. They then carry out these porn blackmail email scamming attacks across a wide number of computers, making it harder to disrupt and the attacker’s origins hard to trace.

The message looks personal and can be frightening, which is what they hope for. If you have received a porn blackmail email scamming message, it might look like this:

DO NOT IGNORE THIS EMAIL. I know that xxxxxx is a password that you use. I will get right to the point. You do not know me and nobody has paid me to write to you but I installed a malicious trojan software on the sex site that you recently visited. When you were viewing the porn, you tapped the play button and that allowed me to remotely access your screen. My software programme enabled me to video you during your sex site experience. I captured you and the site what you were watching and recorded you watching it.
My program allows a desktop connection with a keylogger function that enabled me to access all the contacts to all of your emails, messenger and social media accounts that you hold inside the computer. I have hard evidence that you did this.
So, you have just two options. One is that if you ignore this email, then I will send out your video of you ‘enjoying’ your sexsite experience and it also shows what you were looking at, to all of the contacts that I have in my possession. This will be highly humiliating for you. I am not sure your Boss will like it. I don’t think your partner will, either.
I will also activate the virus to infect your computer.
Second option is to send me money, immediately. I want £716 pounds by Bitcoin (search Google for Bitcoin payments) to xxxxxxxxxxx. Mark it as DONATION. If you do this in 24 hours, I will delete the video. If not, I have no choice to show everyone what you do in your spare time. DO NOT IGNORE THIS EMAIL. Imagine how shocking it will be for your life?

First thing to do, is IGNORE THE EMAIL. Do not send money. Do not reply.

It is a porn blackmail email scamming campaign that is doing its rounds. The existence of RATS (Remote Access Trojans) is technically correct but in this instance, they are using this scare monger tactic to try and blackmail you. RATS are valible and they do just that but in this instance, they are using the possibility to hopefully scare you into paying out money. Once they hook you they will lay it on thick, so if you have replied to them, you may have got another email blackmailing you further.

I mean, if they had any videos, surely they would send you an excerpt, right? Exactly.

Don’t fall for the Sender email, either. It could look like your own email address, which makes them appear that they have accessed your data. The emails are often taken from leaked email address data breaches dumps that were stolen from email providers in the last decade and these criminals trawl the net for them. That data has been found in the public domain. There are hackers out there doing big trade with email scams from megaleaks of billions of data records. 

If it is a password that you still use, make sure that you change it right now. There are Password Managers online that help you choose something harder to guess. 

Since we unfortunately assume that we don’t have much privacy anymore and feel that anyone could spy on us at any time, a lot of people believe the scammers, panic about their families finding out that they have watched some porn and they pay. Threats of exposure and shame are what criminals are relying on.

It is good advice to:

  • Change your username and password now. If you are using the same email addresses, usernames, passwords that you have used for a long time, chances are, if your data was breached by Yahoo, LinkedIn or Dropbox, then there could be a possibility for online hackers to use those old username and password combinations until they strike gold. Remember that doing this is an online hacker's life. They will spend all day just trying. If they got one hit now and again, it is worth it to them. Change your passwords now. It could be worse than just a threat, next time. 
  • Use an anti-virus that blocks known and unknown threats and malwares and also, something with web filtering, to stop you from wandering to harmful websites in the first place. Some websites get malware onto your computer that can do a lot worse that could ruin your business and certainly, your computer.
  • Ensure that you have strong email passwords and change them regularly. Ensure all of your online accounts are protected with strong passwords, spam filters and enable a two-factor authentication (options to use other methods of logging in other than passwords, like sending you a text or calling you with a code), where possible.
  • Don’t use the same email address all across the net on multiple sites and apps. No password should be the same, as convenient as it is for your memory’s sake. Password managers exist for this reason.
  • Consider purchasing some strong email account protection technologies that block spam from reaching your inbox.
  • Don’t click on attachments or links in emails from unknown sources or from any address that you do not recognise (even ones from yourself – chances are that they have used your address, too).
  • Don’t respond or send money.

If you become a target of a porn blackmail email scamming try not to panic. If you ignore it, nothing will happen. 

If you have become a target of porn email sextortion and the sextortionist has most definitely got pictures or videos of you by way of a webcam or online interactive sex site that you are aware of participating in, read on for more information and do call us for legal assistance: 0800 612 7211. We have no doubt that you need to talk with someone that is experienced in this type of online sex blackmailing. Again, try not to panic. You’ll be in good hands.

 

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