A new fake email is doing the rounds that seems terrifyingly real. The sender tells in perfect English that he has hacked your webcam and has images of you doing “naughty” things. If you don’t pay it, the video will go to all your family members, friends and colleagues. But fear not, the whole story is a lie.
The sender of the email claims to have hacked your webcam while visiting a porn website. If you don’t pay, images of you will be made public showing you “enjoying” that visit to the naughty site. These kinds of e-mails have been around for some time, but what is new is that the sender has pasted an existing password of yours in the subject line. This makes it appear that someone has indeed hacked into your private information. However, it is a password that was leaked a long time ago: passwords have already ended up on the street via Dropbox, Adobe and LinkedIn. If you don’t change your passwords very often, it is possible that a password that you still use appears in the mail.
Of course you know yourself whether you A) have a webcam and B) watch porn. The criminals send the message blindly to a large group of people with the expectation that at least some meet these conditions, and also fall for their talk. Even if only one in 1000 people pays, it’s worth it.
This is an example of the email in question:
From: Caleb Goliger
Date: 2018-07-30 14:52 GMT+02:00
I will directly come to the point. I am aware XXXXX is your password. Moreover, I’m aware about your secret and I have proof of this. You don’t know me and no one paid me to look into you.
It’s just your hard luck that I found your blunder. Well, I installed a malware on the adult video clips (pornography) and you visited this website to experience fun (you know what I mean). When you were watching video clips, your web browser began functioning as a Rdp (Remote desktop) that has a keylogger which gave me access to your display and also webcam. After that, my software program gathered every one of your contacts from your messenger, social networks, and mailbox.
Next, I gave in much more time than I probably should have investigating into your life and made a double display video. First part shows the video you had been watching and 2nd part displays the video of your web camera (its you doing inappropriate things).
Frankly, I am ready to forget everything about you and let you continue with your daily life. And my goal is to offer you two options that can make it happen. The above choices to either ignore this letter, or just pay me $2900. Let’s investigate these 2 options in details.
Option One is to ignore this email. Let us see what is going to happen if you choose this option. I will definitely send out your video recording to all your contacts including relatives, colleagues, etc. It does not shield you from the humiliation your family will feel when friends and family uncover your dirty videos from me.
Second Option is to send me $2900. We will name it my “confidentiality charges”. Here is what happens if you choose this option. Your secret remains your secret. I will destroy the recording immediately. You move on with your life as if nothing ever happened.
At this point you must be thinking, “I should go to the cops”. Without a doubt, I’ve covered my steps in order that this e-mail cannot be tracked to me and yes it will not prevent the evidence from destroying your life. I am not seeking to break your bank. I am just looking to get compensated for efforts and time I place into investigating you. Let’s assume you have chosen to produce this all disappear completely and pay me my confidentiality fee. You will make the payment through Bitcoins (if you do not know how, type “how to buy bitcoins” on google search)
Transfer Amount: $2900
Receiving Bitcoin Address: 1KCF2ZAN5c6*b4ANP6UrPXGvFSp84aYLHRZ (Delete * from this address and note it carefully)
Share with nobody what you will be using the bitcoin for or they will often not offer it to you. The procedure to acquire bitcoin will take a short time so do not delay.
I’ve a specific pixel in this email message, and at this moment I know that you have read this email message. You have two days in order to make the payment. If I don’t get the Bitcoin, I will, no doubt send out your video recording to your entire contacts including friends and family, coworkers, etc. You better come up with an excuse for friends and family before they find out. Nevertheless, if I do get paid, I’ll erase the recording immediately. It’s a non-negotiable offer, thus please don’t waste my personal time and yours. Time is running out. Please note that, my malware will still be sharing the actions you adopt when you are done reading this letter. Honestly, Should you choose something inappropriate then I will have to send your video recording to your close relatives, colleagues before your deadline.
Police: don’t panic
The police are urging people to in any case never pay. No, no images were taken of you and no one has hacked your computer. The police does advise you to change your passwords regularly (once every six months for example). Want to know if a password you’re currently using has been leaked? You can check whether your data has ended up on the street in known data breaches via the Have I Been Pwned website.
TIP: Do you not want to take the risk that a stranger is watching through your webcam? You can buy special slides for it, but even better: stick a Post-It over it. You can easily remove it if you want to Skype, for example. Handsome hacker who can still produce images of you.