This article gives insights into the blackmail email scam where cybercrooks try to dupe users into paying cryptocurrency for not disclosing embarrassing stuff.
In the era of sophisticated computer threats such as ransomware and cryptojackers, email scams may seem like a relic from the remote past. Yet, this fraudulent contrivance appears to be up and running. Over the past few months, users around the world have been receiving emails that stand out from the crowd. They attempt to blackmail people rather than make them follow a link, send money to a fake charity fund or claim an inheritance. The latest wave of these messages includes a peculiar hallmark, which is the email address not seen in such campaigns before. The criminals instruct would-be victims to contact them at email@example.com.
What makes the current campaign different from phishing and other sorts of online scams is its theme. It revolves around false claims that the hackers were able to access one’s display screen and webcam remotely. Plus, it includes a “porn website” element as a means to pressure the recipient into following the ne’er-do-wells’ demands.
In a nutshell, here’s how the black hats’ story goes: they purport to have placed malware on an adult website that the victim visited. Then, they state that while the user was watching an x-rated video they established RDP (remote desktop protocol) connection with the computer and dropped a keylogger that granted them access to the machine’s screen and the webcam. Then, the attacker’s malicious software allegedly gathered all of the user’s contacts from their messaging, social networking and email accounts. Below is a word-to-word fragment of the email’s introduction:
You don’t know me and you’re thinking why you received this e mail, 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.
The blackmail part proper boils down to a statement that the hacker actually recorded a video of what was playing on the screen and what the user was doing in the meanwhile. Next, the malefactors threaten to send that video to all of the victim’s contacts, including relatives and coworkers unless a ransom is sent to them. It is payable in Bitcoin and worth about $1,200, although the amount may vary. After the cryptocurrency is submitted, the user is supposed to let the extortionists know by shooting a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. According to the scammers, this is a non-negotiable offer with a deadline of 24 hours.
Now, first and foremost, do not fall for this fraud no matter how persuasive it may appear. The crooks are very unlikely to actually have any videos of you, so just deleting the email is usually enough to move on with your day. A very rare scenario, though, is that the threat actors might have gotten hold of some personal information for real – a few users have reported that their actual passwords were listed in the emails. One way or another, it won’t hurt to check your computer for malicious code that may or may not have exposed your private life to e-scoundrels.
Automated removal of malware related to email@example.com scam
Owing to an up-to-date database of malware signatures and intelligent behavioral detection, the recommended software can quickly locate the infection, eradicate it and remediate all harmful changes. So go ahead and do the following:
1. Download and install the antimalware tool. Open the solution and have it check your PC for PUPs and other types of malicious software by clicking the Start Computer Scan button
2. Rest assured the scan report will list all items that may harm your operating system. Select the detected entries and click Fix Threats to get the troubleshooting completed.