Email Security Blog

Phishing Extortion Scam - Bitcoin Blackmail Blocked

“I took a screenshot through the camera of your device, synchronizing with what you are watching... I think that you do not want all your contacts to get these files, right? If you are of the same opinion, then I think that $811 is quite a fair price to destroy the dirt I created.”

We stay on top of email threats, and to be honest, we’re surprised at how quickly the creepy “Sextortion” bitcoin blackmail emails are succeeding. These are emails where the attacker claims to have hacked your email account months ago and will share compromising files and videos of you with all your contacts unless you pay a ransom in bitcoin. 

Back in July the Electronic Frontier Foundation reported on ‘Sextortion Scam' and what to do if you get hit with it. Here at INKY we have seen an uptick in these types of fraudulent email affecting our users, especially in the past few weeks. We are here to share some insights into this scam and how we stay on top of it. 

With these sextortion emails, the attacker claims to have hacked your email account months ago and plans to share compromising files and videos of you with all your contacts unless you pay a ransom in bitcoin.

According to the EFF, “What makes the emails especially alarming is that to prove their authenticity, they begin the emails showing you a password you once used or currently use. The scammers in this case likely matched up a database of emails and stolen passwords and sent this scam out to potentially millions of people, hoping that enough of them would be worried enough and payout so that the scam would become profitable.”

These schemes have been reported in 43 countries. Last month alone, almost $4 million was sent to criminals through this scam.

Protect your company from bitcoin blackmail

INKY can help protect your team from this danger. Our software can detect this specific scam, and when it does, this warning banner displays at the top of the email:

002 Bitcoin Blackmail scrnsht1

If a user clicks on the “Details” link in the above banner, they will see this:

002 Bitcoin Blackmail scrnsht2

INKY banners are like having a cybersecurity expert looking over your users’ shoulders, giving them important guidance. The warnings can be about brand or user impersonation, requests for sensitive information, or anything suspicious or fraudulent. This just-in-time information protects and educates users.

IT departments also have the option of quarantining dangerous messages with INKY. Ready to see how INKY can protect your organization?

Schedule your personalized demo today.

 

 

Topics: