An escalating email extortion scheme plays on people's worst fears by threatening to expose them in the most private intimate way no one wants anyone to see.
The blackmail bombshell which lands in your in-box threatens to blow up your personal life by exposing you watching pornography.
It says we know who you are, we have a split screen video while you were watching and your reaction to what you were watching, and we're going to send to this to your family and friends, unless you pay the scammers as much as $3,000 or more in Bitcoin.
Cyber security expert Adam Levin himself was targeted in this dark web shakedown scheme.
The extortionist displayed Levin's actual email password, then demanded $7,000 in the online virtual currency, claiming they secretly recorded him on his webcam.
"This also demonstrates the.dangers of recycling password," Levin said. "Because old passwords can come back to haunt you."
The founder of CyberScout deleted the email, but says other victims afraid of being exposed pony up the pay-off, pronto.
"If you have visited a porn site, and many people have, now there's evidence of this," Levin said.
It's fiction, but if you demand proof, the hackers promise to send your compromising video to you and others on your contact list.
"If you say yes, great, if you say no, we're going to release if you say we want evidence," Levin said. "Then we will release it to 5 of your friends."
Adam's advice is to protect your privacy and cover up your webcam to prevent video from being recorded.
"These kind of things are used to scare people half to death and get the hacker or scammer to do whatever it is the hacker or scammer wants them to do," says Levin.
Next, assume with so many security breaches, your passwords already floating around cyberspace for sale. So change all passwords, make them longer and stronger and don't recycle passwords.
"A long, strong password would be ones that use alpha numeric, upper and lower case letters and use symbols instead of letters," Levin said.
And lastly, don't pay by bitcoin, cash, check or wire transfer.
"Never pay," says Levin. "If you are being extorted by someone, contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation."
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