Sextortion scams now resort to password-protected files to scare victims
- The emails sent in these scams have a password-protected ZIP attachment which pretends to contain video recordings of victims when visiting porn sites.
- The files within the ZIP attachment can only be accessed by paying a ransom to obtain the password guarding them.
A new variant of a sextortion scam is on the prowl. Apparently, this scam claims to have videos of victims citing their visit to porn sites and threatens to expose them if victims do not pay the ransom. The new variant was first detected by MyOnlineSecurity last week. Files inside the ZIP attachment found in the emails did not have any videos and contained a link to a web page for payment.
The big picture
- According to Bleeping Computer, the sextortion scam had emails with subject lines such as ‘RE: Case #48942113 firstname.lastname@example.org You have been warned many times - 07/04/2019 10:57:20’ and warns the victim of a video during their ‘visit’ to porn sites. A ZIP attachment is present in the end.
- The email threatens to share this so-called video with the victim’s contacts if a ransom was not received.
- Some of the password-protected files inside the ZIP attachment had names such as Camera-Vid.avi, contacts.txt, debt.txt, Google_Chrome_Default.txt, information.txt, and screenshot.jpg, which could only be unlocked with a password purchased from the scammer.
- A link is also present in the email which allows victims to purchase passwords on paying an amount. The amount varied for different victims.
How to stay safe - Users are advised to stay away from such fraudulent emails since they are nothing but a scare tactic employed by scammers to corner victims into surrendering their money.