There is a new scheme out there that is rather clever. What happens is someone gets a password of yours, and then sends an email with that password as part of the subject line. The email threatens if you don’t send a certain amount of money, they will leak footage they captured while you were watching porn.
So how does this happen?
- First, the hacker goes out and gets your email address along with a password you have used in the past (available on the dark web in databases if someone was able to get it in the past (this is one reason why that IT pro keeps requiring password changes!)
- The email says they have used your password to hack into your computer and install malware that controls your camera
- The email demands you send some amount of money to keep your habits secret, the threat is they will send this proof to all your contacts tarnish your reputation.
Why you shouldn’t engage:
Like all scams, it is better to avoid getting involved, as it becomes a sinkhole where more and more money will be extorted from you. Of course, it is your choice, but there have been a ton of data breaches, and this is generally how these hackers can get your passwords in the first place. For example, there are major players who exposed over 100,000,000 people each on rather normal and mundane sites like MySpace, LinkedIn, Adobe, etc. So, for most of us, the hack didn’t happen because people were on sites they would be nervous people knew they were on. The vast majority is regular websites getting hacked.
What you can do now?
- Make sure passwords are secure and changed from time to time and try to use different passwords for different sites (LastPass and Roboform we have used, but here is a more in-depth list of password managers.)
- Take a breath. Sometimes people make bad choices when they get nervous
- Don’t keep opening the email, there are tracking pixels that can tell how often you are opening an email. These people will prey on the nervous.
- If you own a business and this is a company issue, we do help businesses in San Antonio with data security and cybersecurity help.
If you are looking for help with cybersecurity and keeping your company’s IT safe from intruders and malware or ransomware, please give us a call today!