A Report Reveals That Cybercriminals Manipulate Major Corporations Such As Apple And Google Into Handing Over User Data That Can Then Be Used To Harass Or Blackmail Them

Bloomberg has published a report claiming that cybercriminals across the globe are extorting minors and female individuals with the purpose of obtaining non-consensual, illicit content from their online accounts by tricking big tech.

That’s honestly the cleanest way that I could have worded what is probably the most disgusting act of mass cyber-terrorism that I’ve encountered in a while. Some of the seedier communities across the internet, your rag-tag group of pedophiles, incels, and whatnot, have made it their lives’ ambition to apparently groom and/or harass as many young or female individuals on the internet as possible; oftentimes, both. There is no end to the number of stories that can be found online of individuals having survived groomers, or having fallen prey to blackmailers. Worse yet about the Bloomberg report, which we’ll analyze in greater detail, is that major corporations are unwittingly in on the entire act. Cybercriminals are extorting minors, yes, but they’re doing so using data that is obtained from companies such as Google, Apple, and Meta.

So, how does something like this even work? Well, we’ve long-since learned that if user data is online, it will always be vulnerable to some extent. Whether it be mass leaks from social media platforms, or coordinated phishing attacks against individual netizens, there’s always some chance of a scammer making their way to your precious, private information. A while back, some cybercriminals found a relatively new method of doing so, which relied extensively on fake emergency data requests that are issued to the aforementioned corporations. Now, while companies like Google and Apple have responded to such attacks by reaffirming their placements of safeguards which protect user data, even said safeguards have some holes in them. It’s common for tech industries to share some minimal user data with the emergency request issuers, as a show of good faith. Such data includes a name, an email address, and sometimes even IPs or physical addresses.

This minimal information is more than enough if cybercriminals want to go through with extortion. A name and an email address can dredge up just enough personal information to justify (and I hate using that word) an attack against any individual. Women can be harassed online, or minors can be threatened with doxing or even SWAT-ing. This can even go on for ages, unless of course, the individual them complies to the bad actor’s requests.

It’s a disgusting pattern of online behavior that cybercriminals are developing, and companies need to be ever-more vigilant about whatever data they leak to random individuals.

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