Are Sextortionists using Your web-cams to record footage that can be used against you?

Being threatened with Sextortion claims is surely a nightmare for anyone. This is what the scammers who indulge in this crime capitalize on. They usually send a scam e-mail to the users demanding something (usually money). They will then threaten the users that if their demands aren’t met, an inappropriate video of the targeted user will be released.

The reason many people fall prey to their demands is that the video they are threatened with is claimed to be acquired via that user’s webcam. The scammers claim to have hacked into their webcams through a planted malware, to acquire inappropriate photos and videos of them. Fear of the data getting sent to family members, friends, colleagues or others, makes the user panic to such an extent that they fail to question the validity of the scammers’ threats.

However, the time to sit back in fear of defamation is up, as most of these threats are nothing but a bunch of lies. Of course, it is true that such a malware exists (Remote Access Trojans or RATs), which allows an attacker to get access to another system remotely. There have been countless incidents and cases regarding this situation.


Are cyber hackers using Your web-cams to record footage that can be used against you?
Photo: Getty Images

However, most of the sextortionists have nothing to hold against their targets and will just bluff about things they found out about them to make their threats seem more legit. It should be noted that they can thoroughly dig up information (especially which is already available publicly on social media). In addition to that, they might also share one of the user’s old passwords with them (Note: haveibeenpwned.com can help users check if their online accounts have been compromised in a security hack). Again, that’s not something to be scared about as they had probably acquired that information due to a data breach.


Screenshot: Nakedsecurity by Sopho

The main hint that can help in identifying their claims as baseless can be their lack of evidence supporting their threats. If they had acquired anything via user’s web-cam, they should have no trouble in sharing a still image or a part of the recorded video.

Thus, the best way to stay safe from such scams is to simply discard such messages and e-mails. Any kind of response or engagement can help the crooks. So, the ideal solution is to relax, ignore and delete the spam message, and move on. Also, it is important to stay away from any kind of unfamiliar and suspicious activity on the Internet, through which privacy can be risked.

Read Next: Does Covering Laptop’s Webcam with Tape Save You from Security Risks?

No comments:

Post a Comment