SecurityBrief Asia logo
Asia's leading source of cybersecurity and cyber-attack news
Story image

Scammers targeting more countries in sextortion scam - ESET

By Newsdesk
Tue 16 Apr 2019
FYI, this story is more than a year old

ESET is continuing to warn users of fraudulent e-mail messages that seek to extort money, especially from people watching online pornographic videos.

The attacker in the email claims they have hacked the intended victim's device, and have recorded the person while watching pornographic content.

The email also asserts that the video has not only captured the user's behaviour in front of the webcam, but also which videos were played. 

"In order to conceal the compromising materials, the attacker asks for a sum of around 0.43-0.45 Bitcoin, ($2,794 AUD), however we've already seen other messages asking for other amounts," says ESET security awareness specialist Ondrej Kubovic.

"The victim is directed to pay within 48 hours of opening the email or the cybercriminal threatens to send the incriminating video to all the contacts he/she has managed to steal from the infected device," says Kubovic. 

In the previous waves detected by ESET, these sextortion scam emails were mostly in English, however in the last few days, we have seen multiple new localisations focusing on Australia, United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Czech Republic and Russia. 

ESET is sharing news of this scam as a warning to the public.

The scam is an attempt at extortion, and the attackers do not really have any such video of the victim. ESET protects its users from similar threats through its antispam technology. 
Similar e-mail scams are nothing new and have been appearing for years.

This type of scheme, where the attacker usually asks the victim for a cash ransom is called sextortion.

Sextortion can also happen when an attacker has real photographs of a victim, for example, from an intimate conversation via a fake profile.

It is particularly dangerous if the victim is a child. 

What makes the current scam different from its predecessors is the effectivity of the social engineering involved, mainly thanks to its focus on users who secretly watch pornography on their devices.

Some of the previous versions even made the (scam) email appear as if it came "from the victim's own email address", which supported the attacker's claims about the hacking of the device.

In an even older version of this scam, the attacker claimed to know the victim's password, including it in the body of an email as evidence.

In this case, the attacker probably obtained the data from some of the large data leaks which included billions of authentic login names and passwords.

If a user has ever actually used the password mentioned in the scam, he can be scared into making a hasty payment. 
The scam is also effective due to the sensitive theme of pornography.

Many users secretly visit pages with pornographic content and the idea that their family, acquaintances, colleagues or business partners may learn about their behaviour is extremely unpleasant. 

"If you find such an email in your mailbox, act slowly, deliberately and avoid rash steps. First of all, do not reply to the scam, do not download its attachments, do not click on embedded lines, and certainly do not send money to attackers,” says Kubovic.

“If an attacker lists your actual password, I recommend changing it and activating two-factor authentication on that service.

“Indeed, in many cases, attackers actually test the login information and use the hacked account at least to spread their messages. Also, scan your device with reliable security software that can detect real infections and other issues, such as the misuse of the built-in webcam.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Cybersecurity
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from SearchInform
Val Novoselova joins us today to to discuss new trends in the information security space, and how SearchInform is adapting to some of the new trends we are seeing.
Story image
Secure Code Warrior
Secure Code Warrior announces Coding Labs innovation
Coding Labs mechanisms allow developers to move from learning to applying secure coding knowledge more efficiently, leading to fewer code vulnerabilities.
Story image
Phishing
Vectra Protect team finds Microsoft Teams vulnerability
The Vectra Protect team identified a post-exploitation opportunity in August, allowing malicious actors to steal valid user credentials from Microsoft Teams.
Story image
Cybersecurity
StackHawk launches deeper API security test coverage
Expansion of test coverage includes custom scan discovery, custom test scripts and custom test data for REST APIs.
Story image
Ransomware
Absolute recognised in KuppingerCole Leadership Compass 2022
The company's Absolute Secure Access was recognised for its ability to protect users and resources while improving the remote worker experience.
Story image
Observability
Virtualisation Security Market to reach over $7 billion by 2032 - report
A new report from Future Market Insights has found that the Virtualisation Security Market is anticipated to reach a valuation of US $7.6 billion.
Story image
Software Defined Wide Area Network
Versa Networks recognised as Leader in Magic Quadrant for SD-WAN
The company has been positioned as a Leader for its ability to execute and convey completeness of vision in the Magic Quadrant.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Cyber security incidents more common in APAC - report
Chief financial officers in the Asia Pacific are woefully uninformed about their company's cyber security risks, according to a new report.
Story image
Software Defined Wide Area Network
Fortinet named Leader for SD-WAN in 2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant
The company has announced it has been positioned highest in ability to execute for two years in a row and recognised for completeness of vision.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence in cybersecurity - Future Market Insights
It is projected that revenue through the software segment in the AI in the cybersecurity market will grow at 15.8% CAGR during the forecast period. 
Story image
Cybersecurity
Hands-on review: Yubikey 5C NFC
Founded in 2007 and specialising in computer and network security, the Swedish company Yubico is now a leader in global authentication.
Story image
Customer Relationship Management
Why Managed Service Providers are the next big target
MSPs are now such an integral part of the digital ecosystem that companies trust more of their sensitive data with them
Story image
Malware
Absolute Software extends persistence technology to Trellix
Customers can benefit from Absolute’s firmware-embedded connection, ensuring that Trellix's endpoint protection solution remains effective and healthy.
AWS Marketplace
Whitepaper: A practical guide for mitigating risk in today’s modern applications
Link image
Story image
Encryption
Entrust advances Sigma Instant Issuance Platform for cards
Unique light curing module for Entrust Sigma instant issuance systems brings new financial card durability and personalization to card issuers.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Aqua Security solution to stop software supply chain attacks
Development and security teams can now proactively address the most critical software supply chain risks from code through runtime.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Confidence in security challenges of hybrid work improving
84% of IT professionals have some degree of confidence in their user access security systems to enable remote work securely and easily, up from 56% in 2021.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Test your API Security with Infinite API Scanner
The effectiveness of API scanning technology can mean the difference between successful and unsuccessful programming outcomes, and often enterprises and IT leaders struggle to get it right.
Story image
Software-as-a-Service
Varonis unveils new security features for Salesforce admins
Data security firm adds one-click permissions comparison and analysis features for Salesforce admins, saving them time while improving security posture.
Story image
Compliance
Security and compliance challenges halt innovation strategies
"What’s needed is a new mindset and a fresh approach, one in which security and compliance are continuous and actually speed innovation."
Story image
IT infrastructure
Check Point Software Technologies launches new Horizon innovation
There is now a need for all organisations to have a security operations centre with 24/7 monitoring, response, and threat-hunting capabilities.
Story image
Cloud Security
CrowdStrike launches new partner program to expand routes to market
"We developed the CPSP program in partnership with GSIs, MDR vendors, MSPs, MSSPs and Telcos to ensure we were meeting their needs and empowering them."
Story image
Security vulnerabilities
Claroty finds seven vulnerabilities in Dataprobe iBoot-PDU
The Claroty research team (Team82) has found seven vulnerabilities in Dataprobe's iBoot-PDU, the company's intelligent power distribution unit product.
Story image
Phishing
Barracuda adds Zero Trust Access to enhance email security
The new capabilities allow customers to control access to email systems and Microsoft 365 applications on a need-to-know basis, enhancing email security.
Story image
Cloud
Netskope launches enhancements to cloud firewall solution
Netskope has announced key enhancements to Netskope Cloud Firewall, the firewall-as-a-service (FWaaS) component of its converged SASE platform.
Story image
Distributed Denial of Service
Reevaluating DDoS protection for a changing threat landscape
DDoS attacks are gaining in frequency, intensity, duration, and complexity, with attackers employing more vectors
Story image
Firewall
Barracuda tackles intensified threat landscape with latest releases
"The Barracuda XDR solution combines data across our security stacks through a single dashboard view, giving us the visibility we need."
Story image
IoT security
Nozomi Networks and WALLIX strengthen OT network security
By combining WALLIX and Nozomi Networks solutions, end-to-end visibility and traceability for maximum security in an industrial environment is provided.
Story image
Malware
August's top malware: Emotet knocked off top spot
FormBook is now the most prevalent malware, taking over from Emotet, which has held that position since its reappearance in January.
Story image
Data Protection
Barracuda adds web security in Zero Trust Access solution
The latest release of Barracuda CloudGen Access protects users from malicious web content and strengthens integration with identity providers.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
ForgeRock announces next gen identity orchestration capabilities
ForgeRock has launched identity orchestration capabilities to enable enterprises to deliver improved user experiences secured by threat protection.
Story image
Partnerships
Concentric AI, Snowflake to enhance data security posture
The integration benefits joint customers by making Concentric AI's data security posture management capabilities readily available on the Snowflake Data Cloud. 
Story image
Enterprise
Delinea shares the importance of PAM, partners and security for modern enterprise
Identity-based security is becoming a crucial tool for modern enterprises as they continue to adapt to different working environments.
Story image
Network Security
20/20 visibility key to improving network security
IT leaders around the world share a ubiquitous appetite for greater network visibility, according to a new study from Infoblox.
Story image
Cryptocurrency
Crypto giveaway scams continue to soar, according to report
There's been a fivefold increase in the number of domains used for crypto giveaway scams that involve fake YouTube streams in the first half of 2022. 
Story image
Digital Transformation
Report highlights gaps in trust between enterprises and consumers
ISACA defines digital trust as the confidence in the integrity of relationships, interactions and transactions among providers and consumers.
Story image
Malware
SonicWall threat report mid-year update highlights significant threat variance
The 2022 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report mid-year update from SonicWall gives an in-depth insight into many of the current trends across the threat landscape.
Story image
Web Development
Oracle reveals and releases new Java 19 updates
Oracle has announced the availability of Java 19, which is set to deliver performance, stability, and security improvements for developers.
Aws Marketplace
Learn how to implement a backup and recovery plan for a new generation of Kubernetes-based modern applications
Link image
Story image
Ransomware
Commvault unveils early warning system, Metallic ThreatWise
A first among data protection vendors, the new cyber deception service detects and contains ransomware threats.