Derbyshire Constabulary have recently seen a notable rise in reports from the public regarding threatening emails demanding a ransom be paid to prevent sensitive images or footage being circulated to contacts.
This type of scam is known as sextortion - a type of phishing attack whereby people are coerced to pay a BitCoin ransom because they have been threatened with sharing a video of themselves visiting adult websites.
The email states that malware has been installed which takes control of your device’s camera and footage of the user watching porn has been captured. The threat element occurs when the scammer threatens to send the footage to everyone in your contacts, including family, friends and colleagues if a ransom is not met.
These scams are made to appear convincing because they provide seemingly plausible technical details about how this was achieved, and the ‘phish’ can often include the individual’s password and/or address or telephone number.
In actual fact, that information will have been obtained through a data breach.
What to do if you receive one of these emails?
The advice is not to engage, and to report it by forwarding the email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’ worry if the email includes your password; in all likelihood this has been obtained from historic breaches of personal data.
You can check if your details have been compromised and get future notifications by visiting: https://haveibeenpwned.com. Police advise selecting “Notify Me” so that if your email address is affected in future, Have I Been Pwned will inform you so that you can change the password on any affected platforms.
If the sextortion email includes a password you still use, change it immediately. Password advice can be found via our blog 'How random!', and in-depth guidance on two-factor authentication can be read on the NCSC website: Setting up two-factor authentication (2FA)
You can also visit Cyber Aware for more advice: www.cyberaware.gov.uk/passwords
Always report incidents to Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.police.uk
If you have made the Bitcoin payment, you should report it to your local police force by calling 101.
If you need emotional support this is available from charities such as Victim Support by calling 0808 168 9111 or visiting: www.victimsupport.org.uk
TecSec, a trusted partner of the centre, have put together an in-depth look at sextortion, which you can read via the attached PDF below.
They have also created a video on phishing. In the video, they explain how you can 'test' your staff to see if they may require any security awareness training, which we can offer too.
Take a look at the video and contact them via their website if you wish to sign up for their phishing simulation.
Report all Fraud and Cybercrime to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 2040 or online. Forward suspicious emails to email@example.com. Report SMS scams by forwarding the original message to 7726 (spells SPAM on the keypad).