Researchers have found that over three hundred and thirty-two thousand dollars have been paid in Bitcoin to the scammers running their network through online blackmailing.
The scammers have reportedly used a little over thirty-one hundred unique Bitcoin wallet addresses to extract money. Scammers would blackmail their target through an email-based scam technique.
The most common example that falls under email blackmailing is the “sextortion”, illicit imagery capture through hacked webcams. The criminals reveal their imagery captured in secret and demand a ransom in Bitcoin to have them destroyed. They threaten to put the image on public domains open for public viewing.
Other extortion techniques include enterprise data, sensitive information and private financial information such as credit card details.
The report has studied around seven hundred and ninety-two thousands of emails for the research. The study was conducted on a global scale and included samples from five continents. India and Vietnam are among the top scamming countries.
The report further reveals that social media is a major tool for building data on the victim when sometimes users were not actually hacked; however, their pictures taken from social media were manipulated and then used for extortion.
The details revealed in the research report by Digital Shadows make only a fragment of real picture in the industry. The actual numbers of scams and the amount lost are actually beyond measure since most such cases go unreported.