Crypto sextortion emails on the rise in 2019

Crypto sextortion emails on the rise in 2019

Mimicking the idea from an episode of “Dark Mirror”, scam builders have been using crypto sextortion emails to coerce people into giving them hush-money in the form of cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC).

It is not unlike ransomware which denied people access to their own devices until the amount demanded was paid, however, it is less grave in essence.

Sextortionists usually have a claim to have gotten into a user’s camera via hacking and that they have recorded explicitly intimate acts that they, then, use as the substance for blackmailing the user.

How does crypto sextortion work?

Talha Obaid, expert on email security at Symantec corporation, which is a company providing cybersecurity software and services, said that this sextortion scam is gaining popularity quickly and is a typical case of forcing into someone’s system. They record the contents of their victim’s device and send them to the contact of the user lest they are provided with their demanded amount.

The crypto sextortion amount which in this case is several hundred dollars in Bitcoin (BTC). The emails are occasionally limited to a said region but this case is of sending out emails via botnets.

Symantec has managed to intercept around three hundred (300) million crypto sextortion-based emails. The trend of scamming by the means of social media and email is on its peak where hackers and scammers are benefitting from it to a great extent. These scams began a few months ago at a very slow pace and the number has gradually multiplied with a bombarding magnitude.

After such a long haul, the scammers managed to collect two hundred and forty-three (243) payments which cashed up to approximately twelve (12.8) bitcoins. A lot of people never responded to these emails.

In addition, a review also suggested that the wording of the emails was so convincing that it would make anybody feel insecure about their private information being leaked out to the public. A few of the emails even consisted of threats that a bomb had been implanted in their place of work.

In the end, the scammers emptied out the wallets they feared were in the eyes of the authorities. It is still possible to use BTC or any other cryptocurrency for shady purposes even though there are rarely any coin mixers left.

This relation with the illegal activity will affect the transparency being pursued by Bitcoin. The accounts of the harassers and sextortionists were tainted which has created intermittent dust attacks leading to the invisibility of the origin of Bitcoin funds.

The advice by Symantec is for users to secure their login IDs by making stronger passwords that aren’t in the use of any other website.

Saad B. Murtaza

Saad B. Murtaza

Journalist, Writer, Editor, Researcher, and Strategist with over 10 years of experience in the digital, print and public relations industries, Saad has been working with the mantra, Creativity, Quality and Punctuality. In his waning years promises to build a self-sustaining institute that provides free education. Carrying a diverse portfolio he has studied and written on topics related to cyber crimes, scams, blockchain, and cryptocurrencies.

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