30 October 2018

Webcam blackmail threat

I recently received an email containing a password which I had used some time back to access a website. This was certainly interesting.

It then went on to say that I had visited their porn site and that as a result my computer was infected with a virus and that said virus had recorded me getting up to no good through my webcam!

The price of silence was around £1,000 payable by Bitcoin not to release the resultant video nor publish my browsing history.

Well, it's all a scam but how was my password acquired?

Was I hacked? Highly unlikely given the security on my network.

Even if a virus had slipped under the radar, saved passwords are encrypted on a PC and not easy to extract.

I concluded that a website upon which I had registered had been hacked and my email address and password thus acquired. This would indicate some laxity by the website which should never have stored the password explicitly.

Folks who use the same password for multiple sites or for their Windows or email login are the ones most likely to be tricked by this.

If you do receive one of these then ignore it. You have not been hacked but might want to think about whether you use the same password for more than one website.

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