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Report: Criminals Acquired $1.2M Worth of Bitcoin via ‘Sextortion,’ Bomb Threat Scams

By Shannon Wilson | August 5, 2019
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A total $1.2 million in Bitcoin (BTC) worth of financial damage was caused, with crimes related to “sextortion” and bomb threat during the past year.

Reported by the cybersecurity firm Symantec on July 30th, in sextortion scams, suspicious emails will be sent to the targets, with an old password for the subject title, notifying that their computers or phones have been hacked. The scammers additionally claimed to have visual proof of the victims’ engagement in pornography, which have apparently been acquired via a compromised webcam.

In other cases, the emails disguised as a law enforcement authority who came across child pornography-content on the device.

According to the emails’ author, if they do not received the requested ransom in Bitcoin to their address, the disturbing photos will be publicly displayed for their friends, relatives and colleagues to see.

Hundreds of dollars is the standard amount for this kind of threat, and in a specific one revealed by Symantec, the number is $708.

Syantec also discovered emails of the same type with bomb threats in place of sextortion, claiming that there is a bomb ready to go off somewhere related to the victims, such as their workplace, and unless a specific amount of Bitcoin is transferred by the end of that day, the site will blow up.

Per Syantec, the emails were massly sent without specific targets, and the passwords in the subject line could potentially be the result of the  massive data dumps, recently happened, related to sensitive datas.

In May 2019, 12.8 BTC ($106,240) have been transferred to 63 addresses linked with above-mentioned scams. Using May 2019 as an average point, Symantec has produced the figure of $1.2 million.

Symantec advised investors and businesses to employ extra security features to guard against the scams, and not to open emails or fishy links from suspiciously anonymous personnels.

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