‘This account has been hacked!’ email scam blackmails you for Bitcoin
A sextortion email scam sends you an email from your own account, claims that your operating system was hacked, and tries to blackmail you for Bitcoin.
Sextortion email scams are becoming very common. Just about every week a new campaign appears out of the blue. The latest sextortion email that might appear in your inbox appears to be sent to you from your own email address and says that your operating system was hacked and a hacker has full access to your account.
The email message claims that there was a vulnerability in the software of the router that you were connected to and that they first hacked the router and placed malicious code on it. The email then says that a trojan was installed on the operating system of your device when you got onto the internet.
Furthermore, the email claims that the hacker used the camera on your device to take screenshots and pictures of you while you were visiting adult websites.
This is why this type of scam is referred to as a sextortion scam. The scammer tries to instill fear into your mind by claiming to have images of you while you visit adult or intimate websites.
To add to this, the scammer then claims that they will send the images of you to your contacts including your relatives, friends, and colleagues if you do not pay them.
The scammer insists that you pay them in Bitcoin. They say that once the payment is made they will not disturb you again as if it is some “hacker code of honor.”
Transcript from email message:
Subject: [your email address] – this account has been hacked! Change all your passwords!
From: [your email address]
To: [your email address]
I have bad news for you.
19/07/2018 – on this day I hacked your operating system and got full access to your account [your email address]
It is useless to change the password, my malware intercepts it every time.
How it was:
In the software of the router to which you were connected that day, there was a vulnerability.
I first hacked this router and placed my malicious code on it.
When you entered in the Internet, my trojan was installed on the operating system of your device.
After that, I made a full dump of your disk (I have all your address book, history of viewing sites, all files, phone numbers and addresses of all your contacts).
A month ago, I wanted to lock your device and ask for a small amount of money to unlock.
But I looked at the sites that you regularly visit, and came to the big delight of your favorite resources.
I’m talking about sites for adults.
I want to say – you are a big, big pervert. You have unbridled fantasy!!!
After that, an idea came to my mind.
I made a screenshot of the intimate website where you have fun (you know what it is about, right?).
After that, I made a screenshot of your joys (using the camera of your device) and joined all together.
It turned out beautifully, do not doubt.
I am strongly belive that you would not like to show these pictures to your relatives, friends or colleagues.
I think $753 is a very small amount for my silence.
Besides, I spent a lot of time on you!
I accept money only in Bitcoins.
My BTC wallet: 1H9bS7Zb6LEANLkM8yiF8EsoGEtMEeLFvC
You do not know how to replenish a Bitcoin wallet?
In any search engine write “how to send money to btc wallet”.
It’s easier than send money to a credit card!
For payment you have a little more than two days (exactly 50 hours).
Do not worry, the timer will start at the moment when you open this letter. Yes, yes .. it has already started!
After payment, my virus and dirty photos with you self-destruct automatically.
Narrative, if I do not receive the specified amount from you, then your device will be blocked, and all your contacts will receive a photos with your “joys”.
I want you to be prudent.
– Do not try to find and destroy my virus! (All your data is already uploaded to a remote server)
– Do not try to contact me (this is not feasible, I sent you an email from your account)
– Various security services will not help you; formatting a disk or destroying a device will not help either, since your data is already on a remote server.
P.S. I guarantee you that I will not disturb you again after payment, as you are not my single victim.
This is a hacker code of honor.
From now on, I advise you to use good antiviruses and update them regularly (several times a day)!
Don’t be mad at me, everyone has their own work.
Although this might sound frightening and seem real, it is just a scam. Your account was not hacked and no one took pictures of you. The same exact message has been sent to many people and there have been many campaigns like it in the past. For example, a previous email claims that a spyware software developer hacked your account and shows you the past or current password to your email account. If you have never visited an adult website, you will still receive the same message. If your device does not have a camera, they will still claim to have taken pictures of you through your camera.
Email message campaigns like this are getting a lot of steam following breaches that occurred on websites in the past like LinkedIn and Adobe. They use information leaked about you (such as your email address, email account password, and telephone number) against you in order to attempt to blackmail you. To see where your email information may have been leaked from check out https://haveibeenpwned.com/. You can input your email address to locate where your information was leaked.
Since this is a scam and you are not in danger please DO NOT PAY THE SCAMMER. They have not accessed your email account and they have not taken photos or videos of you. The only thing that you need to do is change the password to your email address and other accounts you have to ensure your safety.
The email message does not mean that your computer is infected with malware if you received this email message or one like it; However, if you would like to scan your computer for malware and other potentially malicious files to make sure that your computer is clean we recommended to use Malwarebytes.
Here are some instructions to scan your computer for malware and remove malware if found:
1. Download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software to scan your computer and remove malicious files and potentially unwanted programs.
2. To install the program, click the file you just downloaded. It can usually be located in the Download folder.
3. A window that says “Welcome to the Malwarebytes Setup Wizard” will appear. Click Agree and Install to begin the installation. Once complete, click Finish.
4. Now the Malwarebytes is installed, open the program and click the Scan Now button – or go to the Scan tab and click the Start Scan button.
3. When the scan is complete click the Quarantine Selected button.
4. If Malwarebytes says “All selected items have been removed successfully. A log file has been saved to the logs folder. Your computer needs to be restarted to complete the removal process. Would you like to restart now?” click the Yes button to restart your computer.