Reports are emerging of a new sextortion campaign in which victims are asked to pay thousands of dollars in Bitcoin to keep quiet a supposed webcam video of them watching porn.
The unsolicited email attempts to trick the user into believing the extorter as it opens by revealing a genuine password linked to the recipient’s email address.
It then proceeds as follows:
“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!)”
The victim is then required to make a massive Bitcoin payment — sometimes as high as $2900 — to stop the blackmailer sharing the ‘video’ with their contacts.
Several recipients of the email contacted KrebsonSecurity, claiming the password was correct but nearly a decade old. The credentials most likely have been obtained from a historic data breach or dark web site.
Back in December 2016 the National Crime Agency (NCA) was forced to launch an awareness-raising campaign around online extortion, claiming thousands may be falling victim to webcam-based attacks every year.
It claimed that at least four suicides in the UK have been linked to sextortion, with the nature of the crime meaning it is likely being vastly under-reported.