Thanks to the Sextortion Email Campaign, Cybercriminals have Collected over $69 Billion by Blackmailing their Targets!

Cofense Labs - a phishing defense solution provider - discovered a sextortion campaign aggressively targeting a large database of over 200 million email accounts. Such Extortion emails are being sent both through smaller spam campaigns as well as large spam botnets. Cofense Labs has been keeping tabs on a particular mail spam botnet that has been delivering sextortion phishing emails for several months now.

It’s quite concerning that the number of extortion emails ending up in the victims’ inboxes is rapidly increasing. Additionally, these cybercriminals are also attempting to monetize their leaked email accounts’ databases.

The scammers’ movement is being closely observed by the researchers to keep track of the email addresses being targeted as well as the malware pressure being exerted by such campaigns.

Thanks to Cofense, the full database of targeted accounts can now be accessed through Cofense’s website. In case your email is in the list, there’s a fairly strong chance of you receiving a sextortion email in the near future.

In order to avoid getting scammed by the sextortion campaign, users are advised to change their passwords immediately, use a password manager, authorize two-factor authentication wherever it’s available, use a webcam cover and lastly, it is important for users to not reply to the sextortion email or pay the ransom money.

The email scam which is now known as Sextortion was discovered last year in July when scammers started blackmailing their targets claiming that they have recorded their videos while they were surfing adult sites. Scammers also use the passwords that were leaked as a result of a data breach dump, to their leverage.

According to a Tweet by SecGuru, over 30 victims have paid more than $50,000 until now and that is still not the total amount or even close to it as SecGuru was only able to inspect 42 BTC addresses, and there are probably over thousands of them.

It is evident that Sextortion scams have enjoyed success until now. One of its campaigns managed to collect more than $50,000 in less than 7 days in July.

ISC handler Rick Wanner tracked a limited number of Bitcoin addresses used by the scammers to merge their earnings and concluded that they have managed to secure over $69 Billion by blackmailing their victims. There are probably several other undiscovered consolidation addresses currently in play.

Everything you need to know about Sextortion emails

Photo: HomeArt / Shutterstock

Read next: How to Spot Social Media Scams (infographic)
Previous Post Next Post