breachstortion / sextorsionSextortion again – but with “we hacked your website and stole all your data” instead of “we hacked your webcam and made a video”.
Sextortion, also known as “porn scamming“, is where the crooks send you an email claiming to have a video of you watching porn that they’ve acquired by implanting malware on your computer.
We suspect that you’ve not only heard of it but also received these odious and scary emails yourself – scary because no matter whether the crooks really have a video or not, the emails sign off with an aggressive blackmail demand for money…
…or else the video goes to all your family and friends.
The extortion amount varies, but it’s typically about $2000, payable via Bitcoin to a cryptocoin wallet specified in the email.
The idea is that if you pay up, the crooks will stop hounding you, delete the video and move on to another victim.
The thing is, there isn’t a video – after all, if there were, surely the crooks would send you a clip or still image from it as proof?
The criminals are just hoping that a few of the victims who receive their emails will pay up anyway out of fear, and at least some people do.
Indeed, a SophosLabs report published earlier this year found that although porn scamming crooks aren’t pulling in the millions-of-dollars-a-time that some ransomware gangs seem to be getting away with, sextortion scammers have nevertheless been pulling in as much as $100,000 a month simply by telling people to pay up.