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Is the Porn Blackmail Scam Real?

by on April 22, 2020
in Computer Safety & Support, News, Computers and Software, Blog :: 675 comments

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What would you do if you received an email from someone claiming to have hacked your computer and recorded you via your webcam while you were engaged in watching porn, then threatening to send the video to everyone in your email and social media contact lists if you don’t pay a $260 ransom? Would you pay the ransom? Even if you’ve never viewed porn, what if they made the same threat to reveal the private details of all your emails?

This is exactly the situation some of our readers found themselves in recently, and they contacted us for help on how to proceed.

Here is an example of one the emails [grammatical errors left intact]:

Good Morning my friend. I represent the group of web criminals in Iran. I use this mail address because we think that you will check it. Few times ago my team put the virus on web-site with porn and as far as you clicked on a play button your system started shooting your screen and activating camera to capture you self-abusing. Eventually I mean you understand what compromising evidence Ive earned. Moreover, this software made your device act as dedicated server with plenty of functions like keylogger, parser etc. To sum up, my software picked all data, especially all your contacts from messengers, e-mails, social networks. If you wanna make me silent you must make a transaction of 260 dollars with bitcoin. 1K2auXQEKz7Ro8cRa2xr3bAPV2n6KT5vi1 You must use it as usual credit card number. If you send bitcoins nobody will see your shame. Watch youtube manuals about methods of buing BTC... I can offer you this exchanger: localbitoins.com.  If you have a problem with this, you can search comfortable ATM for bitcoin at coin atm radar. I give you no more than twenty four hours since you read our message to pay. You can complain cops, but they can not find us I use bot network, and of course we live abroad. If you want us to show proofs we will share it to seven mates from your data after that you will be given their contacts. So you will ask them if something strange was received about you. For some questions just reply. Dont be fullish, AmAZinGcRackeR$.

Scary, right? And there have been instances where victims’ computers were hacked, they were filmed in various states of undress (or worse) and then blackmailed that may make this threat seem all too real. But there are several indications that this is nothing more than a phishing scam, hoping to rope in active porn watchers with false threats (an easy demographic to target via mass email given that the world’s largest porn site, Pornhub.com, gets 75 million visitors PER DAY).

First, there is nothing in the email that demonstrates they know anything personally about you: it’s not addressed to you by name and there’s no detail about what site you supposedly visited and when. Nor did they supply a screenshot of the “self-abusing” they allege to have captured. In fact, they are explicitly discouraging you from asking for proof, by threatening to share said “proofs” with your “mates” if you ask. That is completely contrary to how we would expect a real hacker/blackmailer to act – if I wanted to scare the bejesus out of you to get you to pay, the first thing I would do is show you a compromising screen capture to prove that this is very, very real.

Another red flag is that when our readers ran scans using antimalware tools, no malware was detected. Antimalware tools aren’t perfect, but the better ones should have picked up the type of remote administration tool (RAT) described in the email.

Searching the web, there are reports of people receiving similar email scams, going back at least to last fall. The wording of the email varies, including where the scammers claim they’re from, the nature of their threat and the amount of money being demanded. Some people are falling for them, but fortunately not many. I researched a selection of the bitcoin accounts used in these scams and none of the emails had duped more than a handful of victims.

Unfortunately, these scams will likely continue and morph into new threats as the ubiquity of bitcoin makes it easier for scammers to hide behind these accounts and for victims to pay. In fact, while this article was originally written in March of 2018, Sophos security recently released a new study, based on millions of porn blackmail emails that were sent between September 2019 and March 2020, demonstrating this to be the case. During that period, sextortion emails made up 4.23% of all spam observed by Sophos. The study also showed scammers are using new methods for obfuscating email content to evade spam filters, enabling them to collect nearly a half million dollars in payments from victims during the same period. Fortunately, despite some payouts, potential victims seem to be becoming wise to the scam, as only half a percent of the Bitcoin addresses used in the spam messages received any payment, according to Sophos.

So, if you get one of these emails, should you pay the ransom before all your friends find out what you’ve been up to?

The answer is no, don’t be “fullish”.

[EDITOR'S NOTE REGARDING PASSWORD APPEARING IN THE EMAIL SCAM 7/12/18: A number of people have posted in the comments that they received a version of the email which includes a real password they've used in the past. Does this mean that they should be concerned? The answer is No and Yes. No, you shouldn't be concerned that your computer was hacked and you were actually filmed watching porn - it's still a scam. But, yes, you should be concerned that your password has been leaked through a data breach. Security researcher Troy Hunt has uncovered more than 500 million passwords leaked through these breaches. That password in the email was likely one of them. 

If it is still an active password for you, the scam email should be a big wake up call that you need to ensure you are using unique and secure passwords for every one of your accounts. We strongly recommend a password manager like Dashlane or 1Password , which will automatically check your passwords to see if they have been revealed in a breach and help you create unique, secure ones for every site.]

[EDITOR'S NOTE WARNING ABOUT ATTACHMENTS 7/20/18: One reader reported receiving an attachment titled "Invoice" with the porn scam email. If you get an attachment, DO NOT OPEN IT. Email attachments are one of the primary ways hackers use to install malware on your computer, which could turn this fake malware scam into a very real one.]

[EDITOR'S NOTE ABOUT EMAIL SPOOFING 10/19/18: Many readers are commenting that the porn blackmail email appears to be sent from their own email address, causing added concern the hacking claims may be real. But don't be fooled. Email spoofing has been around for a long time and is relatively easy to do. Usually the message headers will reveal the true sending email address. Here's how to tell if an email has been spoofed.]

[EDITOR'S NOTE ABOUT WORK VS PERSONAL EMAILS 1/21/19: A number of people are expressing concern in the comments that the blackmail email is coming to their work email, instead of their personal email (or both). It doesn't matter — an email address is a email address as far as this scam goes. Billions of emails have been leaked over the years, many of those from business-focused services such as Dropbox, LinkedIn and Adobe. If I check to see which of my email addresses have been involved in breaches, my work email has been breached many more times than my personal email.

Originally published 3/12/18. Updated 4/22/2020 with new data from Sophos

[Image credit: Man in a dark room at a computer via BigStockPhoto]



Discussion loading

Blackmail

From Blackmail on December 05, 2018 :: 8:00 pm

I received this yesterday. I was scared but I guess is the same scam.

I guess you’re wondering why you’re receiving this email right?
It would be highly beneficial to your privacy if you didn’t ignore it.
I have placed a Malware on an adult website (…P…0…r…n site) and as you visited and watched the video your device has been affected, placing a spyware on your machine. Which has recorded you both with webcam and screen capture while you had your “fun Time” allowing me to see exactly what you see.
This has also affected your smartphone via an expl0it. So do not think for one minute you can circumvent this by reinstalling your OS. You have already been recorded.
After that my malwares collected all your messengers, emails and social networks contacts.
I guess this isn’t good news right?
But don’t worry too much, there’s a way we can fix this privacy issue. All i require is a Bitcoin payment of £4,800 GBP which I think is a fair price considering the circumstances.
The address to make the payment is: 1PpH3dyTd8kzZN8H9kZdhuwF3RqitdL52a
NOTE: REMEMBER TO RECONFIRM THE BITCOIN ADDRESS WITH US BEFORE MAKING PAYMENT TO AVOID MAKING PAYMENT TWICE.
If you don’t understand bitcoin, go on YouTube and search for “how to buy bitcoin” or google for “local bitcoins”, it’s pretty easy to do it.
You have only 48 hours after reading this e-mail to send payment (Be warned I know when you have opened and read this email, i have placed a pixel image inside it. Which enables me to know when you have opened the messaged on exactly what day and time)
If you decide to ignore this email, I will have no choice but to forward the video to all the collected contacts you have on your email account, as well as post on your social media accounts, and send as a personal message to all Facebook contacts. and of course make the video publicly available on internet, via YouTube and adult websites. considering your reputation, I highly doubt you want to be exposed to your family/friends/coworkers during this current time.
You can actually go to the police, but these people will not likely do anything, the most significant stuff they can do is lock my wallet and you will deprive other people from the opportunity to pay me. So think twice before doing foolish things.
If I receive payment all the material will be destroyed and you will never hear from me again. If I do not get my funds for virtually any reason, such as the inability to send cash to a blacklisted wallet – your reputation is going to be wrecked. So make it fast.
Remember here is my Bitcoin account transfer address - 1PpH3dyTd8kzZN8H9kZdhuwF3RqitdL52a
NOTE: REMEMBER TO RECONFIRM THE BITCOIN ADDRESS WITH US BEFORE MAKING PAYMENT TO AVOID MAKING PAYMENT TWICE.
Do not try to make contact with me because am using a victim email that was hacked and exposed. Only reply to notify me you have made payment or you have questions about making payment then click reply.
If you don’t believe and want proof just reply to this email with “PROOF” and I will send your video to 5 of your contacts via email, and post on your Facebook wall. In which you will be able to remove it once, not forever.

Reply

Also a scam?

From John on December 06, 2018 :: 11:13 am

On Tuesday 4th, December I received this email. I guess and I hope is a similar scam. Actually my 48 hours were gone.

Any comments Josh?

I received this yesterday. I was scared but I guess is the same scam.

I guess you’re wondering why you’re receiving this email right?
It would be highly beneficial to your privacy if you didn’t ignore it.
I have placed a Malware on an adult website (…P…0…r…n site) and as you visited and watched the video your device has been affected, placing a spyware on your machine. Which has recorded you both with webcam and screen capture while you had your “fun Time” allowing me to see exactly what you see.
This has also affected your smartphone via an expl0it. So do not think for one minute you can circumvent this by reinstalling your OS. You have already been recorded.
After that my malwares collected all your messengers, emails and social networks contacts.
I guess this isn’t good news right?
But don’t worry too much, there’s a way we can fix this privacy issue. All i require is a Bitcoin payment of £4,800 GBP which I think is a fair price considering the circumstances.
The address to make the payment is: 1PpH3dyTd8kzZN8H9kZdhuwF3RqitdL52a
NOTE: REMEMBER TO RECONFIRM THE BITCOIN ADDRESS WITH US BEFORE MAKING PAYMENT TO AVOID MAKING PAYMENT TWICE.
If you don’t understand bitcoin, go on YouTube and search for “how to buy bitcoin” or google for “local bitcoins”, it’s pretty easy to do it.
You have only 48 hours after reading this e-mail to send payment (Be warned I know when you have opened and read this email, i have placed a pixel image inside it. Which enables me to know when you have opened the messaged on exactly what day and time)
If you decide to ignore this email, I will have no choice but to forward the video to all the collected contacts you have on your email account, as well as post on your social media accounts, and send as a personal message to all Facebook contacts. and of course make the video publicly available on internet, via YouTube and adult websites. considering your reputation, I highly doubt you want to be exposed to your family/friends/coworkers during this current time.
You can actually go to the police, but these people will not likely do anything, the most significant stuff they can do is lock my wallet and you will deprive other people from the opportunity to pay me. So think twice before doing foolish things.
If I receive payment all the material will be destroyed and you will never hear from me again. If I do not get my funds for virtually any reason, such as the inability to send cash to a blacklisted wallet – your reputation is going to be wrecked. So make it fast.
Remember here is my Bitcoin account transfer address - 1PpH3dyTd8kzZN8H9kZdhuwF3RqitdL52a
NOTE: REMEMBER TO RECONFIRM THE BITCOIN ADDRESS WITH US BEFORE MAKING PAYMENT TO AVOID MAKING PAYMENT TWICE.
Do not try to make contact with me because am using a victim email that was hacked and exposed. Only reply to notify me you have made payment or you have questions about making payment then click reply.
If you don’t believe and want proof just reply to this email with “PROOF” and I will send your video to 5 of your contacts via email, and post on your Facebook wall. In which you will be able to remove it once, not forever.

Reply

please help......

From MaruMaru on December 15, 2018 :: 6:37 am

Hello good Day… i just opened my email account today and was really shocked when i received an email stating that it was hacked and they have recorded me using my webcam. the email also has the info of my email address with my previous password but i have already change it way back in august and that i need to make a payment of $750 or else they leaked the said recorded video to my family and my loved ones. is this true or not?? should I change password again or just delete my account?

Reply

Got something similar today

From M Fontan on December 18, 2018 :: 2:49 pm

I greet you!

I have bad news for you.
11/28/2017 - on this day I hacked your operating system and got full access to your account Mario_fontan89@hotmail.com
On that day your account (Mario_fontan89@hotmail.com) password was: *********(they had the right password)

It is useless to change the password, my malware intercepts it every time.

How it was:
In the software of the router to which you were connected that day, there was a vulnerability.
I first hacked this router and placed my malicious code on it.
When you entered in the Internet, my trojan was installed on the operating system of your device.

After that, I made a full dump of your disk (I have all your address book, history of viewing sites, all files, phone numbers and addresses of all your contacts).

A month ago, I wanted to lock your device and ask for a small amount of = money to unlock.
But I looked at the sites that you regularly visit, and= came to the big delight of your favorite resources.
I’m talking about sites for adults.

I want to say - you are a big pervert. You have unbridled fantasy!

After that, an idea came to my mind.
I made a screenshot of the intimate website where you have fun (you know what it is about, right?).
After that, I took off your joys (using the camera of your device). It turned out beautifully, do not hesitate.

I am strongly belive that you would not like to show these pictures to your relatives, friends or colleagues.
I think $918 is a very small amount for my silence.
Besides, I spent a lot of time on you!

I accept money only in Bitcoins.
My BTC wallet: 3KGjDYT1FvppsVudegyhJjFieCsLVTuk7B

You do not know how to replenish a Bitcoin wallet?
In any search engine write “how to send money to btc wallet”.
It’s easier than send money to a credit card!

For payment you have a little more than two days (exactly 50 hours).
= Do not worry, the timer will start at the moment when you open this letter. Yes, yes .. it has already started!

After payment, my virus and dirty photos with you self-destruct automati cally.
Narrative, if I do not receive the specified amount from you, the n your device will be blocked, and all your contacts will receive a photos with your “joys”.

I want you to be prudent.
- Do not try to find and destroy my virus! (All your data is already uploaded to a remote server)
- Do not try to c ontact me (this is not feasible, I sent you an email from your account)
- Various security services will not help you; formatting a disk or destroy ing a device will not help either, since your data is already on a remote s erver.

P.S. I guarantee you that I will not disturb you again after payment, as you are not my single victim.
This is a hacker code of honor.

From now on, I advise you to use good antiviruses and update them regula rly (several times a day)!

Don’t be mad at me, everyone has their own work.
Farewell. 


I am a bit worried to be fair

Reply

My email for comparison purposes

From Orlando on December 22, 2018 :: 3:28 am

I’m Davina. Isn’t ‘*******’ is your password:) (old password)

I recorded your webcam showing your indecent stimulating actions & video you watched with the help of my malware which was on the site you visited to view the x-rated video. You are actually appearing hot in the tape.

I have each of your mail and additionally FB contacts because my malware provided me access to them.

I’ll send your recording to your contacts unless you send me $1088 via B I T C O I N S within the next 36 hours to the below address:
B I T C O I N Address: 18L6gZyUSyJpzqVLo7GxsVguvuXZiXpwTH
Copy & Paste address because it is CasE SenSiTiVe.

Once money is sent, I will destroy your recording and every other information I have about you.

If I don’t receive the money, I will email your recording to every contact of yours. Think about the humiliation you experience. Not to forget if you are in a loving relationship, precisely how this will affect?

Want proof? Reply “Yes”, & I will send your video to 9 of your email contactsinstantly.

Sincerely - Davina


Perfect example of what Josh describes in the article. I also checked the bitcoin wallet and it’s empty. I’ll update 24hrs after the “deadline” is reached. So grateful for this article.

Reply

Update

From Orlando on December 23, 2018 :: 8:27 am

24hrs after “deadline”. All clear.

Reply

Another scam e-mail

From Lenon on December 23, 2018 :: 8:37 am

I am Livy. Isn’t ‘XXXX’ is your passphrase:)

I recorded your webcam showing your indecent sexual actions and clip you played with the help of my malware which was there on the website you visited to view the x-rated videos. In the video footage you really are appearing engaging.

Your mail and FB contacts were then sent to me by my malware.

I will email your video to your contacts unless you send me $1071 via B I T C O I N S in the next 24 hours to the below address:
Bit coin Address: 1DVMxryBDPb3Cvort152TgDio4anH43weq
Make sure to Copy and Paste address because it is CasE SenSiTiVe.

Once you have sent the money, I will delete your recording and every bit of details I have about you.

If I do not receive the money, I will send your recording to every contact of yours. Just imagine regarding the awkwardness you feel. Not to forget in case you are in a romantic relationship, how this will affect?

Want proof? Reply with “Yes”, and I’ll send your recording to 6 of your contactsinstantly.

Kind thanks - Livy

Reply

hello, i got this email too

From oliver on December 27, 2018 :: 1:01 am

It was in my spam folder and panic when i first read it… i formatted my computer and reinstalled OS on my mac. The pasword in the subject was old but valid password i used frequently in the past but was changed for that particular e-mail few months ago and no longer associated with any of my important accounts. After I read the e-mail I received a second e-mail few hours later that said, “You have 2 days (48 hours) to pay. (I have a special code, and at the moment I know that you have read this email).”

I do remember that I scanned my mac few months ago and it detected malware that’s why I decided to reinstalled everything fresh just in case. It sounds legit but obviously not sending no bitcoin lol

Anyway, the e-mail is an old e-mail i rarely use to register to any sites and I’m actually curious how he got it… i have several e-mails but the one he sending e-mails too is the one I never use. Weird.

Reply

I got similar email :D and this is what I did.

From tbe on December 27, 2018 :: 5:29 pm

Yes this email sender knows my password I use on shitty websites I don’t trust(Funny he didn’t mention my stronger password when he has a key logger to make me really worried). So I assuming it is PornHub or some websites where fake bots type in the chat to pretend they are girls on crappy porn sites :D In my opinion it must be from one(of maybe 5) websites where fake bots type in chat on porn sites I signed two years ago(I didn’t came back there ever again). So here is email from myself I got(Its easy to change recipient mail).

——-
——-
Real mail:
——-
Hi, stranger!

I know the unknowunknow, this is your password, and I sent you this message from your account.
If you have already changed your password, my malware will be intercepts it every time.

You may not know me, and you are most likely wondering why you are receiving this email, right?
In fact, I posted a malicious program on adults (pornography) of some websites, and you know that you visited these websites to enjoy
(you know what I mean).

While you were watching video clips,
my trojan started working as a RDP (remote desktop) with a keylogger that gave me access to your screen as well as a webcam.

Immediately after this, my program gathered all your contacts from messenger, social networks, and also by e-mail.

What I’ve done?
I made a double screen video.
The first part shows the video you watched (you have good taste, yes ... but strange for me and other normal people),
and the second part shows the recording of your webcam.

What should you do?

Well, I think $731 (USD dollars) is a fair price for our little secret.
You will make a bitcoin payment (if you don’t know, look for “how to buy bitcoins” on Google).

BTC Address: 16LBDius3vg6ufFvnc7PGXfiTZgphuZgr5
(This is CASE sensitive, please copy and paste it)

Remarks:
You have 2 days (48 hours) to pay. (I have a special code, and at the moment I know that you have read this email).

If I don’t get bitcoins, I will send your video to all your contacts, including family members, colleagues, etc.
However, if I am paid, I will immediately destroy the video, and my trojan will be destruct someself.

If you want to get proof, answer “Yes!” and resend this letter to youself.
And I will definitely send your video to your any 15 contacts.

This is a non-negotiable offer, so please do not waste my personal and other people’s time by replying to this email.

Bye!

——-
——-
My reply:
——-
What webcam? I don’t even own a webcam rofl… I don’t even visit porn sites because I have a girlfriend lol… Anyway time you sent me this email is a bit off don’t you think? I booted up the system “System Boot Time: 25-Dec-18, 20:48:01” And your message is from today 19:10 lol.

Anyway when you send me anything it be a malicious software what could open you doors into my PC so no thank you don’t send me anything.

I dare you to send whatever you got on me to anyone from my 15 contacts(Not sure what contacts you mean because I don’t even have that much contacts anywhere haha). You got F*CKING 15 minutes to do your job or GTF* you scammer.

Reply

2 Days has passed and nothing

From TBE on January 06, 2019 :: 6:41 am

Alright deadline is over, I didn’t send them money and I am still just fine. I just got 3 more same kind of messages but still nothing has happened. So guys… DONT SEND THEM ANY MONEY because it is literally a scam.

PS.
Keep your email password unique and never use it for other websites. This make you 100% secure when any website leaks your information.

Reply

note to self

From gilgamesh on January 01, 2019 :: 6:50 pm

if you receive it as a note to self does that mean that somebody had broken into your mailbox

Reply

No.

From tbe on January 02, 2019 :: 5:59 am

No they didn’t hack into your email. If you are a good programmer you can easily change sender name to match your target name, then set recipient as your target name and then bounce the message around the internet so it goes back to your target.

If you still don’t believe me, then change your Font in your email or add some extra automatic stuff like sincerely and so on on the end of your mails… If none of this is displayed in email that used your mail name then you can be sure it is not from you.

Also be careful to not use same password for your mail with untrusted websites these can log your password with mail and then try their luck.

When they mention your less strong password that you use on untrusted websites and that they set keylogger on your PC then don’t worry, until they don’t know your strongest password you use then they definitely doesn’t set keylogger into your PC. If they know your strong password then sh*t bricks :D.


Anyway almost everybody on this planet watches porn… also girls do so there is no shame that they tell other people that you watch porn :D.

And also when they really got something on you and send it to your friends on facebook or anywhere then you can report them on the certain website and if it continues then to the police and person that did it gets caught :D and probably you get some money from it on the court :D GG ez money mate smile

Reply

DANGER

From iyana brooke on January 02, 2019 :: 10:23 am

Morning, i also have this same problem… i received a mail this morning and they are giving me up to 48hours to be able to give this money to them. they emailed me with my own email. what should i do? because they say they have a video of me satisfying myself

Reply

No danger

From Orlando on January 03, 2019 :: 12:34 am

Don’t worry about a thing. I’m sure you’ve read many of the emails here and have seen that nothing has happend to anyone, inlcuding me (it scared me cold that’s how I ended up here). Watch some videos about this subject on youtube, you’ll see how popular this scam has become. Whatever you do don’t send any money to the address you were given. Live life and be careful, Happy 2019!

Reply

Dont pay

From TBE on January 03, 2019 :: 2:08 pm

Don’t pay to them. As you can see we all here got similar email so it is just a random mail bot.

Anyway what porn website did you sign your email to?
Mine is Pornhub or tube8

Reply

Is this one real?

From King O on January 02, 2019 :: 2:12 pm

Hey guys,
I got an email like all the others that says “i have a video of you pleasuring yourself if i will not recive 600$ to ×××× bitcoin address
I will send it to all your contects.


That was the messege but what really bothers me is that it came from my own email account.

Should i be worried?

Reply

Not real

From Orlando on January 03, 2019 :: 12:27 am

Don’t worry about it. Even after reading some of these similar accounts you’ll still fell a little worried…just forget about it. There’s an explanation in the article of how they manage to send from your own email.

Reply

You shouldnt be worried.

From TBE on January 03, 2019 :: 2:16 pm

Just read this article.
This article says that anyone is able to change From and To headers in the mail.

https://www.howtogeek.com/199704/how-is-it-possible-to-send-e-mail-using-someone-elses-domain-name/

Anyway do you have any idea what porn website did you sign in? So we can know which porn website is causing all this trouble.

Reply

It's not a porn site that's the issue

From Josh Kirschner on January 03, 2019 :: 6:00 pm

You are right, spoofing email addresses is easy to do.  I covered that in the article and we have another article with ways to tell if an email address has been spoofed.

In any case, the email addresses being used in this scam aren’t coming from a porn site. In fact, many people receiving the scam email have never used that email address for porn. Instead, the scammers are just fishing using some portion of the billions of email addresses that have been leaked through various data breaches over the years - Yahoo, Adobe, MySpace, LinkedIn, etc., etc. Head over to https://haveibeenpwned.com/ and you can see all the known breaches you’ve been impacted by.

Reply

Well its not linkedin :D

From TBE on January 04, 2019 :: 6:26 pm

I just tried LinkedIn if I used that password over there but nope.

Damn it. If I had a device that would automatically generate passwords for websites and use every unique password on a new sign up… that would be great. Then I could just check which website is responsible for leaking my information :D

Damn this is a great device I should invent :D

Not Pwned !?

From probeus on January 21, 2019 :: 6:34 pm

Had one of these come to a generic work   info@ email so no one person using it as such ... odd it came to that given I
Checked the email address on haveibeenpwnd and nothing showing up !

Yes, pwned

From Josh Kirschner on January 22, 2019 :: 10:28 am

haveibeenpwnd is a great way to confirm if an email address has been collected. However, it is based on “known” breach files discovered on the dark/deep web. It is almost certain that there are many more “unknown” breach files with additional emails, etc. And for generic business emails, if that email address ever appeared on your website, it’s highly likely to have been scraped at some point. Or, someone just took a list of business domains and blindly sent to info@yourbusiness.com, admin@yourbusiness.com, webmaster@yourbusiness.com, etc.

insist

From iyana brooke on January 08, 2019 :: 7:02 am

I have changed my password, i have also deleted the mails, but this morning i still received an email, telling me he was waiting for the payment and that everytime that i change my password, his malware will detect it . please i need help!!!!!!! the worst is that i never visit porn sites!!! i want to delete outlook from my lap top and buy a software cleaner

Reply

Why not follow my advice?

From Josh Kirschner on January 08, 2019 :: 1:45 pm

Instead of deleting Outlook, why not just follow my advice and ignore it? That’s what the article above is all about.

FWIW, you should have antimalware on your computer anyhow. Though even Microsoft’s Windows Defender that comes with Windows is pretty good.

Reply

Can you show the mail?

From TBE on January 09, 2019 :: 10:13 am

Can you show us the email?

Anyway if you didn’t visit a porn website then don’t be scared. And also don’t contact them about the evidence because stuff they send you may be a malicious software that can open backdoor into your PC and make great access for hackers to get into your PC.

Reply

Interesting turn of events...

From Ed on January 11, 2019 :: 5:11 pm

Woke up this morning to the email mentioned above several times (i will not repost so as not to nake this too tedious). Anyway, same MO, “we have videos of you beating it to porn, deposit in bitcoin, your password is ... etc.

I thought of it as a scam, but decided to go into my accounts and change passwords anyway… In an interesting turn of events (and this is where I really began to panic), as I checked my hotmail account’s activity, I noticed there were 6 login attempts from different plaes around the world (VPN is my guess).

Has anyone noticed anything of the sort in their attacked accounts?

Reply

That's not entirely surprising

From Josh Kirschner on January 11, 2019 :: 5:27 pm

You likely received the porn email because your email address was part of some data breach. Many of those data breaches also contained passwords, so it’s not surprising that someone may be trying that leaked password on your Hotmail account.

Reply

Got this one

From GW on January 16, 2019 :: 7:19 am

Scan the information attentively!
You could speak to any law enforcement agency, but still no one will catch me.
Away back you went on the adult webpage, your computer web browser was damaged with recent malware.
While you read this letter I have got entry to all your passwords using a hidden RDP connection.
I have already all your data from your computer.
This virus can also uses your camera and gets video.
I made a video where it is shown utterly your mastrubation.
You have exactly 24 hours since the moment seeing this warining (I will receive an email ) to pay for the discharge of mentioned videos, or I will spread all the mentioned contacts to your relatives, friends, colleagues…
Answer to this warning + and my computer will send the details for payment. Rejcet this warning and in 1day, all abovementioned secret files will be sent.

Reply

I received it twice

From Msun on January 16, 2019 :: 10:49 pm

I received one 2 weeks ago, it disappeared after a few days, then I got another one yesterday. They made it looked like it was sent from my own email address. I ignored them lol, geez I’m not THAT gullible.
Goes like this

Subject: high danger. Your account was hacked

“Hi!

As you may have noticed, I sent you an email from your account.
This means that I have full access to your acc: On moment of crack ×××××××@hotmail.ca password: ××××××××

You say: this is my, but old password!
Or: I will change my password at any time!

Of course! You will be right,
but the fact is that when you change the password, my malicious code every time saved a new one!

I’ve been watching you for a few months now.
But the fact is that you were infected with malware through an adult site that you visited.

If you are not familiar with this, I will explain.
Trojan Virus gives me full access and control over a computer or other device.
This means that I can see everything on your screen, turn on the camera and microphone, but you do not know about it.

I also have access to all your contacts and all your correspondence from e-mail and messangers.

Why your antivirus did not detect my malware?
Answer: My malware uses the driver, I update its signatures every 4 hours so that your antivirus is silent.

I made a video showing how you satisfy yourself in the left half of the screen, and in the right half you see the video that you watched.
With one click of the mouse, I can send this video to all your emails and contacts on social networks. I can also post access to all your e-mail correspondence and messengers that you use.

If you want to prevent this, transfer the amount of $749 to my bitcoin address (if you do not know how to do this, write to Google: “Buy Bitcoin”).

My bitcoin address (BTC Wallet) is: 1KeCBKUgQDyyMpaXhfpRi2qUvyrjcsT44o

After receiving the payment, I will delete the video and you will never hear me again.
I give you 48 hours to pay.
I have a notice reading this letter, and the timer will work when you see this letter.

Filing a complaint somewhere does not make sense because this email cannot be tracked like my bitcoin address.
I do not make any mistakes.

If I find that you have shared this message with someone else, the video will be immediately distributed.
Bye!”

So I went and pulled out the details of the sender and found the ip address it was sent from (in Zimbabwe apparently). So I’ve blocked the ip address using my windows firewall.
This is where I found how to do it
https://www.trishtech.com/2014/05/block-ip-address-windows-firewall-windows-8/

Reply

Unfortunately, that won't help anything

From Josh Kirschner on January 17, 2019 :: 10:31 am

The email may have been sent by someone in Zimbabwe, but it goes to your email service provider, and the IP address your system is accessing is the IP address of your email provider. So blocking the other IP address won’t stop those emails from coming through.

There’s also no point in trying to stop the “hack”, since there is no hack - this is all made up.

Reply

c'est arriver à moi aussi hhh

From lamia on January 17, 2019 :: 9:04 am

voici le txte reçu:
I know 515151 is one of your pass. Lets get directly to purpose. Not one person has paid me to investigate about you. You do not know me and you’re probably thinking why you are getting this e-mail?
laqepy lamyae8 515151 rekulsyot lamyae8 515151 avfufodo lamyae8 515151 r lamyae8 515151 piyw lamyae8 515151 jowinysve lamyae8 515151 cmsieevto lamyae8 515151 ouhailimk lamyae8 515151 uuokkeeef lamyae8 515151 hriaqaix lamyae8 515151
in fact, i actually placed a software on the xxx video clips (pornography) website and guess what, you visited this site to experience fun (you know what i mean). While you were watching videos, your browser began operating as a Remote control Desktop with a key logger which gave me access to your display as well as webcam. Right after that, my software program obtained all your contacts from your Messenger, social networks, as well as email . Next i created a double-screen video. First part shows the video you were viewing (you’ve got a fine taste lmao), and 2nd part displays the view of your webcam, & its u.
iraptjzos lamyae8 515151 ft lamyae8 515151 csnhfp lamyae8 515151 aiuxojge lamyae8 515151 seowipert lamyae8 515151 zrzyez lamyae8 515151 mby lamyae8 515151 hzeglibag lamyae8 515151 denal lamyae8 515151 axuxakubp lamyae8 515151
There are 2 alternatives. Let us analyze each of these possibilities in particulars:
edd lamyae8 515151 g lamyae8 515151 vavimihvy lamyae8 515151 ytadahf lamyae8 515151 knynjmp lamyae8 515151 qeqynefa lamyae8 515151 vlyoxaiz lamyae8 515151 wuycuufe lamyae8 515151 cafycooo lamyae8 515151 kuoybeuwa lamyae8 515151
1st alternative is to ignore this e mail. in this case, i will send your very own recorded material to all your your personal contacts and think concerning the embarrassment you experience. and as a consequence in case you are in an important relationship, just how it will certainly affect?
oludysced lamyae8 515151 zaajekofe lamyae8 515151 jlmltr lamyae8 515151 paazet lamyae8 515151 keuwba lamyae8 515151 abejayck lamyae8 515151 npuxiwyzu lamyae8 515151 pepajbz lamyae8 515151 sbti lamyae8 515151 piuxaibae lamyae8 515151
Latter alternative is to give me $867. Let us name it as a donation. Then, i will without delay erase your video recording. You can keep on going your daily routine like this never took place and you surely will never hear back again from me.
zoog lamyae8 515151 vauyduuaw lamyae8 515151 ktayciik lamyae8 515151 bepeivdak lamyae8 515151 qyjtvbaau lamyae8 515151 oadeayvov lamyae8 515151 bujgyr lamyae8 515151 myjiaze lamyae8 515151 ooi lamyae8 515151 ruuztvud lamyae8 515151
You will make the payment by Bitcoin (if you don’t know this, search for ‘how to buy bitcoin’ in Google).
kukityxu lamyae8 515151 wceyp lamyae8 515151 piuzonucc lamyae8 515151 jnlievgoj lamyae8 515151 xmu lamyae8 515151 qojyi lamyae8 515151 saok lamyae8 515151 g lamyae8 515151 nyavisnit lamyae8 515151 exozunall lamyae8 515151
BTC address to send to: 1DG8pnwK9vdevHjB1nfDQRUmyYVJyPQNf9
reysoqe lamyae8 515151 iguc lamyae8 515151 reiwouato lamyae8 515151 digatao lamyae8 515151 qaceder lamyae8 515151 baeotl lamyae8 515151 huytri lamyae8 515151 imkikyqu lamyae8 515151 ghboytee lamyae8 515151 celmfefa lamyae8 515151
[CaSe sensitive copy and paste it]
pyqehol lamyae8 515151 vcdyymuip lamyae8 515151 y lamyae8 515151 loaixowu lamyae8 515151 cib lamyae8 515151 quaabasko lamyae8 515151 uuaswiz lamyae8 515151 sevayua lamyae8 515151 qun lamyae8 515151 ognxma lamyae8 515151
Should you are wondering about going to the cops, anyway, this email message cannot be traced back to me. I have dealt with my steps. i am not trying to ask you for money a huge amount, i want to be compensated. e mail if i don’t get the bitcoin, i will definately send out your video to all of your contacts including friends and family, coworkers, and so on. Nonetheless, if i receive the payment, i’ll erase the recording immediately. If you really want proof, reply with Yeah! & i definitely will send your video recording to your 11 contacts. it’s a non:negotiable offer, so please don’t waste my time and yours by replying to this email message.
Lamyae riix@hthknofly.com
mer. 9 janv. 06:17 (Il y a 8 jours)

je dois vous dire que je n’ai jamais regardé de film de ce genre. jamais…
malgré cela j’ai eu peur des faux montages
j’ai supprimé mon compte google..

Reply

Similar but different email

From Jon on January 18, 2019 :: 12:58 am

Got an email similar to this. But in my case they didn’t have the password to any of my emails. The only shocking thing is they contacted me through my work email and threatened to send whatever video they had to my clients and my contacts on facebook. I deleted the message instantly. Wasn’t worried at first because I thought if I was truly hacked they’d have sent a screenshot or something. But should i be worried how they got my work email? And could it be a coincidence?

Reply

No need to worry

From Josh Kirschner on January 18, 2019 :: 3:33 pm

Your work email is no different than your personal email, just one of billions that have been revealed in breaches. In fact, my work email has been in more breached than my personal.

Reply

I received the same email too

From User on January 18, 2019 :: 12:23 pm

The text was different, but the essence is the same. It allegedly mentioned my “one of the passwords” qaz123.
But I did not have such a password. I think that the attacker hoped that many users have this password.
And yet, I do not have a webcam )

Reply

Could this be real?

From Jal on January 18, 2019 :: 8:11 pm

I got a similar email this morning, asking for 2000$ in bitcoin. Coincidentally (or not !) i did happen to go on one of the big porn websites you mention the day before, on my android phone (not my computer). I have no account with them, never log in… the email did not mention any password, but did adress me by 1st name - i guess because my work email has my first name only in it.

I read lots of stories of others getting this type of email, but no stories of those who got them, had used porn, and did not pay -  has it ever happened that the hacker actually did anything ?

Thanks!

Reply

Well actually I did write my story.

From TBE on January 23, 2019 :: 4:55 pm

I do watch porn and yes I have got an email from these scammers… of course I didn’t pay anything… 2 days passed and no one of my friends told me anything hmh so as you can see it doesn’t work.

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Could it be real ? - continued

From Jal on January 18, 2019 :: 8:18 pm

Also can phone cameras be hacked like computer cams can ? Because that’s what would have happened in my case. I never use my computer for personal / private usage.

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Email recieved but not on haveibeenpwned

From Ali akbar on January 19, 2019 :: 7:09 am

So i got an mail regardeing this thread. The password he delivers is correct. I have used it in the past and i still use it for commercial accounts ( nothing important ).  When i check haveibeenpwnedmy mail adress isnt listed but the password deliverred within the email is listed 19 times. For the rest i dont use my pc for pornographics and doesnt have a webcam. I use My phone (#noshame) wich doesnt grand chrome acces to contacts camera nor microphone. The mail doesnt list any personal information nor proof this content he has exists. He also doesnt provide a time windows he wants the transaction he wish to be payed.

I got a bit scared at first cause i viewed this mail at a late hour while being extoxicated. But after viewing this post and reading allot of comment my mind is at more ease.  So thankyou for that.

Any tips on how to deal with it are much appriciated

Reply

Threatening email twice for payment of Bitcoin

From Santosh on January 21, 2019 :: 4:15 am

Received email twice for payment of Bitcoin. In the first email they mentioned that they have the video of mine mastebating. And given 72 hours time to do the payment. Also they mentioned that they have all my contact list of email and FB. At the time of watching porn videos in phone, the FB account was logged out. How it possible to get the contact list of FB? Also today received second email with the email subject ’ last warning from Anonymous hacker’s. Here they mentioned that they are giving another 72 hours time to do the payment of Bitcoin to avoid releasing my mastebating video. This second email received just before one hour of expiring first 72 hours time. Please suggest me what I need to do now and what steps do I need to take. Your suggestions much helpful for me to save my life.

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I already covered all this in the article

From Josh Kirschner on January 21, 2019 :: 12:03 pm

The scammers are just making things up to scare you. What you need to do now is delete the email and move on with your life.

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Is there any instances where scammers released any videos?

From Santosh on January 21, 2019 :: 1:12 pm

Did you come across any instances where scammers released any videos of victims who do not paid the ransom as demanded by them?

In my instance they sent these emails to my work email id. not understanding how they get to know my work email address? It’s nothing to do with my personal things.

Observed that both mails came from different email ID’s.

Really scared of this because these are new things in my life.

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HiI have received the exact

From Raj on January 22, 2019 :: 5:54 am

Hi
I have received the exact mails. Exactly how you have narrated with same time lines.  I have till tomorrow to give the bitcoins.  I am also very nervous but have decided to ignore.

Please post here after expiry of your time period

From Santosh on January 22, 2019 :: 9:29 am

Hello Raj, please post here after expiry of the time period what will happen. It’s really helpful to the people who has received same kind of email.

Screen glitch or hack?

From probeus77 on January 21, 2019 :: 8:03 am

Noticed while on iphone was searching for something else!...I clicked on wrong link- went to a porn site and noticed lots of the video clips looked inverted( like an x-ray) and some were moving up and down on screen with horizontal lines across them- weird! then it calmed down - Screen glitch or phone/ camera hack?

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Movie playing issue, not hack

From Josh Kirschner on January 21, 2019 :: 11:47 am

Sounds like that is an issue with the site rendering the movie correctly, either because of an encoding issue or another technical glitch. Definitely not a hack.

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Thanks

From probeus on January 21, 2019 :: 1:33 pm

Thanks so much, i panicked that they’d used something in the video software to open the selfie camera ( maybe via an app that already had permissions). or by some other way and videod me!  and all i was doing was waiting for demanding email with the mo4 on it!
(I was using Firefox on iphone 7plus)
These people are spreading fear!... thanks for your wisdom and knowledge.

Reply

Android Samsung tablet ( latest OS)

From DrFunk on January 21, 2019 :: 6:20 pm

Me again….
Worried that the Android tablet webcam can be hacked / opened while visiting infected or in fact any porn site!?
😳

Reply

Strange

From Lacz on January 29, 2019 :: 5:45 am

I got an e-mail to a brand new work address (which contains my - very frequent - name and the password was my wife’s first name which I never used as password. The association of my name with my wife’s first name is a little scary. Parts of code appearing in the e-mail (converted to plain text for security) may show that a similar e-mail was sent to others with my name and the wife’s first name taken from a public or semi-public database (family/ancestry or another) or by hacking the workplace database (the e-mail address was the most plausible if someone knows the company’s e-mail address algorithm).

Reply

Pour mon cas, est ce bien une arnaque ?

From Dd on January 29, 2019 :: 7:00 pm

Bonjour, j’ai reçu un mail portant les mêmes caractéristiques que décrit ci-dessus,(Webcam, contacts et paiement bitcoin et pas de descriptions personnelles ou copies d’écran.)
Le truc c’est que juste avant j’ai reçu un SMS de “unknow sender” et qui a disparu quand j’ai cliqué dessus…
Je suis donc un peu inquiet quand même, quand pensez-vous ?
Merci.

Reply

C'est juste une coïncidence

From Josh Kirschner on January 29, 2019 :: 7:11 pm

Pardon, je ne parle pas très bien le français. Mais les deux choses ne semblent pas liées. C’est juste une coïncidence qu’ils se soient produits à peu près au même moment.

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Pour mon cas, est ce bien une arnaque ?

From Dd on January 29, 2019 :: 7:36 pm

Merci pour la réponse rapide.
Vous pensez qu’il n’y a pas d’inquiétude à avoir ? Ni pour le SMS ni pour le mail ?
Le mail ne semble pas être du texte mais plutôt une copie d’écran…
Je ne sais pas comment la publier sur votre site pour analyse.

Reply

Rien à craindre

From Josh Kirschner on January 29, 2019 :: 8:03 pm

Ils utilisent une capture d’écran pour l’e-mail au lieu de texte pour éviter qu’elle ne soit attrapée par les filtres anti-spam.

Avoir une application anti-programme malveillant sur votre téléphone ne fait jamais de mal pour assurer votre sécurité et votre confort. Lookout Security, Norton, Bitdefender, etc. sont de bonnes options.

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