Contact us today!
(808) 529-4605

Indevtech Blog

Don’t Be Fooled When Scammers Threaten to Spill a Dirty Little Secret

Don’t Be Fooled When Scammers Threaten to Spill a Dirty Little Secret

What would you do if a stranger claimed to have compromising webcam footage of you and threatened to share it with your contacts? A new, very convincing email scam is making some users very nervous.

The Sextortion Scam
It’s as screwed up as it sounds. A scammer emails you saying that they got access to your passwords, and then started to run amok to see how much trouble they could get you into. They even show you one of your passwords to prove it (the password will likely come from lists found on the dark web from online businesses and services that have been hacked and stolen over the years). Then the scammer admits they’ve been watching what you do on your computer and recording your webcam, and they happened to catch you at a very inopportune time... Well, let’s let the email explain it for us. 

“You don’t know me and you’re thinking why you received this email, right?

Well, I actually placed a malware on the porn website and guess what, you visited this web site to have fun (you know what I mean). While you were watching the video, your web browser acted as a RDP (Remote Desktop) and a keylogger which provided me access to your display screen and webcam. Right after that, my software gathered all your contacts from your Messenger, Facebook account, and email account.

What exactly did I do?

I made a split-screen video. First part recorded the video you were viewing (you’ve got a fine taste haha), and next part recorded your webcam (Yep! It’s you doing nasty things!).

What should you do?

Well, I believe, $1400 is a fair price for our little secret. You’ll make the payment via Bitcoin to the below address (if you don’t know this, search “how to buy bitcoin” in Google).”

The reader is then given the address to a Bitcoin wallet, where they are to send the ransom.

The email continues:


You have 24 hours in order to make the payment. (I have an unique pixel within this email message, and right now I know that you have read this email). If I don’t get the payment, I will send your video to all of your contacts including relatives, coworkers, and so forth. Nonetheless, if I do get paid, I will erase the video immidiately [sic]. If you want evidence, reply with “Yes!” and I will send your video recording to your 5 friends. This is a non-negotiable offer, so don’t waste my time and yours by replying to this email.”

This email comes in a few different versions in the wild, but all of them follow the same pattern and end with the same threat… fork over the cash, or everyone will see you in your most private moments.

Is This a Serious Threat?
This is a very real concern for many people, who will be relieved to hear that, no, there is no indication that these threats are for real. The first clue is the fact that the passwords that the email provides are usually a decade old, indicating that they came from some (relatively) ancient database from some long-forgotten hack.

However, in some ways, this is even worse news, because this threat has made a tidy sum of money: as of the 31st of July, the scam had brought in $250,000, as compared to just over $50,000 by the 19th. Clearly, this scam has been plenty effective for the perpetrators, and this won’t deter others from following its example.

Keeping Yourself Safe from an Actual Attack
Granted, this attack is just an unfair wager, but scams like this are more than possible for a criminal who actually means what they say/threaten. As a result, the security lessons we can take away from this particular attack still apply.

The first thing to remember is also the first rule of passwords - change them frequently. Again, this scam has made quite a bit of money based on a total bluff... a bluff that, paid in increments of $1,400, was worth $250,000 and counting. From this, we can infer that quite a few people who received this message had online activities that they wanted to hide, and more critically, that their passwords had remained the same for all those years.

This is an excellent example of why it is so crucial to regularly update your passwords, without repeating them - if an old database is hacked, as happened here, you won’t have to worry if your password is revealed - it won’t be any good anymore.

The second thing to remember? If you aren’t actively using your webcam, keep its lense covered up.

For more best practices to follow, including those that will improve your business’ security, make sure you keep checking back to this blog - and if you want to take more action, reach out to us at (808) 529-4605.



No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Thursday, January 17 2019

Captcha Image

Request a Consultation

Request a
Network Consultation

How secure is your IT infrastructure?
Let us evaluate it for you!

Contact Us!

Free Consultation

Tag Cloud

Tip of the Week Security Technology Privacy Best Practices Cloud Business Computing Hackers Google Hosted Solutions Backup Malware Microsoft Network Security Windows 10 Innovation User Tips Mobile Devices Data Internet Software Smartphones Browser Business Hardware Email Tech Term Efficiency Productivity Business Continuity Smartphone Computer VoIP Disaster Recovery IT Services Ransomware Workplace Tips Miscellaneous Data Backup Business Management communications Android Productivity Cybercrime Outsourced IT Cloud Computing Network Chrome Alert Data Recovery Office Windows Automation Telephone Systems Upgrade Managed IT Services Computers Router Managed IT Services Server Communication Artificial Intelligence Save Money Small Business Quick Tips Internet of Things Money Law Enforcement Virtualization Windows 10 Facebook Collaboration Social Media Social Engineering Holiday Spam How To IT Support Office Tips Health Office 365 Passwords App Applications Cybersecurity Wi-Fi Password Gmail Operating System Work/Life Balance Mobile Device Management Settings Two-factor Authentication Mobile Device Word BDR Information History Google Drive Remote Computing Bandwidth Bring Your Own Device Gadgets Phishing Application Recovery Private Cloud Microsoft Office HaaS Entertainment Scam Marketing Data Security Hacking Sports Keyboard Encryption Flexibility Mouse Managed Service Provider Managed Service Safety Data Management VPN Data Breach Data Protection Voice over Internet Protocol Connectivity Vulnerability Mobility Networking Apps Hiring/Firing YouTube OneNote Botnet Social Telephone System Fraud Legal Budget Blockchain Access Control Redundancy Black Market Patch Management Battery eWaste The Internet of Things USB BYOD Internet Exlporer Saving Money Training Data Storage DDoS Avoiding Downtime Government Best Practice Comparison Public Cloud Human Resources Google Docs User Error Spam Blocking Downtime IT Support Servers IT Management Big Data Software as a Service Physical Security Electronic Medical Records IT Plan Website End of Support Wearable Technology Mobile Computing Cleaning Identity Theft Charger Telephony Data storage CES Windows 7 Retail Infrastructure Paperless Office Remote Monitoring Robot Business Intelligence PDF Managed IT Virtual Assistant Unsupported Software Content Management Firewall Employer-Employee Relationship Machine Learning Update Meetings Vendor Frequently Asked Questions Millennials Information Technology Wireless Charging Wireless Internet Music Automobile File Sharing Relocation Digital Signature Software Tips Multi-Factor Security Advertising Programming Virtual Reality Running Cable Biometrics Shadow IT Devices Solid State Drive Start Menu Reputation Password Management Smart Technology Search Engine Customer Relationship Management Rootkit Techology Streaming Media Business Mangement Network Congestion Cast Computer Care Employer Employee Relationship Netflix Display Excel Going Green Workforce Cortana Wire IBM Augmented Reality Travel Humor Accountants Trending Worker Commute Amazon Thought Leadership Risk Management Assessment Audit Tools Customers Lithium-ion battery HIPAA NIST Two Factor Authentication webinar Bing Education Environment Customer Service Authentication Sync Recycling IT Consultant Warranty WiFi Files Computer Accessories Security Cameras Tip of the week Laptop Telecommuting Wireless Shortcut NarrowBand Google Apps Smart Office Troubleshooting Supercomputer Remote Worker Root Cause Analysis Search Social Networking Help Desk Amazon Web Services Politics Television Computer Fan Video Games Cryptocurrency Conferencing Computing Infrastructure Fax Server Uninterrupted Power Supply Remote Work Nanotechnology Vendor Management IT solutions Criminal Transportation Samsung Printer Bluetooth Hacker Windows Server 2008 Touchpad Distributed Denial of Service Wireless Technology Workers Document Management Wiring How to People Practices Emails HBO Specifications Hybrid Cloud Online Shopping Addiction Public Computer FENG Value Scalability Staff Safe Mode Smart Tech Content Windows 10s HVAC Benefits Leadership Administrator Chromecast Books Current Events Unified Threat Management Data loss Apple Mobile Office Hosted Computing Save Time Shortcuts Outlook Maintenance Evernote Cache Experience MSP Instant Messaging Notifications Internet exploMicrosoft Users Tech Support Credit Cards Audiobook SaaS Skype Monitor Enterprise Content Management Microchip Inventory Worker Flash Password Manager Emergency Knowledge Camera Screen Mirroring iPhone IT solutions Company Culture Printers CrashOverride Compliance Managing Stress Regulation Twitter Smartwatch Thank You Webinar Congratulations