HUB TechMinutes

Business technology news, tips and events.

HUB TechMinutes

Better business through better information.
4 minutes reading time (841 words)

Scam Claims to Have Compromising Video… of You

Scam Claims to Have Compromising Video… of You

Every business (and every individual, for that matter) needs to be wary of Internet scams and other online tricks. This is because those scammers are wily and have many means of finding a user in a compromising position… or so they claim in a recent scam.

For a bit of background, it is important to recognize that a full 30 percent of the Internet is made up of pornographic materials. That 30 percent is not short of visitors, either - websites featuring adult content draw more traffic than Amazon, Twitter, and Netflix do together. This prevalence is one of the reasons that this email scam has been as effective as it has.

How the Scam Works
Like most scams, the purpose of this one is to extort money from its victims. A popular way to do this (among criminal circles, of course) is to blackmail them with some piece of information that they would prefer hidden - the more scandalous, the better. This scam claims that the sender of an email has just that information on you.

This scam starts with an email appearing in an inbox:

“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 user is then given an address and case-sensitive alphanumeric code into which they are to deposit the sizable ransom. They are advised to use the copy/paste function to make sure the code is correct. Finally, the email ends with a warning:

“Important:

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.”

One thing is for sure: this would be an extremely unsettling email to open your inbox to find. Regardless of which of its many versions you may encounter, it will deliver the same ultimatum: deliver the Bitcoin to me, or I deliver this to everyone in your life.

Don’t Get Excited
This would be a really scary threat, if it was real. There was no video filmed of you, and while the password is one that you once used, it comes from a decade-old hacked database. This threat is little more than that - a threat - but there are still lessons to be learned from an attempt like this.

This scam has been considerably successful, netting over $250,000 over the course of a few weeks, which means that scams like this will continue, and that plenty of people don’t change their passwords the way they should. However, it is also legitimately scary to consider what might happen if this threat someday wasn’t a threat - after all, almost every device today comes with a built-in front facing camera. As a result, it will be hard to be sure that there isn’t footage of you - compromising or otherwise - floating around in some cybercriminal’s system someday.

How to Protect Yourself
Proactive measures are key to foiling any attack like this, especially in regard to your passwords. Properly managing your passwords should be a priority - follow best practices and use different ones, changing them often - and if you have difficulty remembering them, use a password manager to remember them for you.

Plus, you may want to strongly consider covering up your webcam when not intentionally using it. That way, it won’t matter so much how you choose to spend your time.

Regardless, we get it. It can be really hard to keep up with each and every threat and attack that’s out there, between sextortion, ransomware, and all the others. That’s part of the reason that HUB is here. We do everything we can to protect our clients from compromise, including education and practical defenses. Give us a call at 204-772-8822 to learn more.

5 Business Communications Solutions
Make Your Business Better with HUB's BeSure IT Ass...

Related Posts

 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Guest
Saturday, December 14, 2019

Captcha Image

Get Updates On Our New Blog Posts!

Book your free introductory consultation now.

Let's Talk

Happy Clients

Don't Miss Our Next Newsletter!

Subscribe to our free monthly newsletter! It's packed with valuable information, useful tips, and important security alerts.
* indicates required
Your email address is secure with us - we never share our subscriber information.

HUB Tech Minutes

30 December 2019
Using a slow computer can be very frustrating; and, since there is a laundry list of things that can cause your computer to slow down, you may have a difficult time troubleshooting the problems. Slow computers can be filled with viruses or malware, t...
11 December 2019
Mobile devices haven’t been known to have a lot of faults when it comes to security, but when a really bad malware attack does happen, the best solution may be to wipe the device and start over from a factory reset. Currently, there is a malware targ...
10 December 2019
While the major holiday shopping days have passed us by, many people are still looking for that perfect gift often using the Internet to find it. While online shopping is certainly more convenient, it can also be dangerous. To help keep you safe this...