Apparently my laptop was spying on me as I was viewing naughty videos online. Oh yeah?
I received an email today demanding money. The sender said they’d video-recorded me through my laptop camera “enjoying” a dirty video.
This is the second such message I’ve received like this. I always regretted deleting the first one as it’s a good subject for an informative blog post.
When you read the email’s content, reproduced in full below with grammatical errors, bear (or should that be “bare”?) these three points in mind:
- There is no pornographic material on my machine, and I truly and honestly do not watch mucky vids ever.
- I always cover my laptop’s built-in camera unless I’m video-conferencing – a fairly rare event.
- My operating system isn’t Windows, which virtually all hackers target, and neither is it Mac OS.
Anyway, my computer is so old the only porn it would be capable of accessing would be archaic “what the butler saw” images.
So explain the email …
Quite a long time ago I had a Yahoo email account. I deleted it, mostly because it was crap.
The email address I received today’s message on was a back-up I still keep with a different provider that I’d supplied to Yahoo – ironically, for security purposes.
Yahoo famously got hacked back in 2013 when users’ login details were stolen. The email addresses and passwords were later posted onto pastebin (an infamous text-based repository website) where anyone could access them.
Occasionally black-hat hackers will copy the pastebin content and use the stolen details to send blackmailing messages en masse, including to the back-up. I expect I’ll receive a similar email some time in the future.
No doubt my skin would have tightened had I actually been a connoisseur of naughty sites. The demand for payment by cryptocurrency and threat of seeing myself in my boxers would have been too much for me not to panic.
Instead I just rolled my eyes at what could only be, certainly in my case, a scam.
Judging from the grammar employed I’d guess the hacker is based somewhere in India – a country well-known to the information-security community as the source of many such attacks.
>>> UPDATE: A Digital Survivor reader kindly sent in a link to a kapersky.com story confirming that this hoax is in fact an attempted malware scam.
Anyway, enjoy the perpetrator’s message:
XXXXXXXX is one of your passwords. Lets get directly to purpose. Nobody has compensated me to check you. You don’t know me and you are probably thinking why you’re getting this e mail
Let me tell you, i placed a malware on the X videos (pornographic material) site and do you know what, you visited this site to have fun (you know what i mean).
When you were watching video clips, your internet browser initiated operating as a Remote control Desktop having a keylogger which provided me with accessibility to your display screen as well as web cam. after that, my software obtained your complete contacts from your Messenger, Facebook, as well as e-mail . and then i made a double-screen video. 1st part displays the video you were watching (you have a good taste lol), and next part displays the recording of your web camera, and its u.
You have got two options. We will review these choices in aspects:
Very first solution is to dismiss this message. in that case, i am going to send your very own videotape to all of your personal contacts and also just think about the shame yo u will see. or if you are in a committed relationship, precisely how this will affect?
in the second place alternative is to give me USD 968. We will regard it as a donation. Subsequently, i most certainly will promptly remove your video footage. You could continue your way of life like this never took place and you will not ever hear back again from me.
You will make the payment through Bitcoin (if you don’t know this, search ‘how to buy bitcoin’ in Google search engine).
if you have been thinking about going to the law enforcement officials, well, this email message cannot be traced back to me. I have covered my moves. i am not trying to charge you much, i would like to be compensated.
You have one day if i don’t receive the bitcoin, i definitely will send your video to all of your contacts including family members, co-workers, and so forth. Nonetheless, if i receive the payment, i will erase the recording immediately.
If you really want evidence, reply Yeah! and i definitely will send your video recording to your 8 contacts. This is a nonnegotiable offer that being said don’t waste mine time and yours by responding to this e mail.