You're My Victim: Nastiest Scam Ever Seen

In several decades on the Internet, using at least a hundred of mail addresses, therefore acting as a SPAM magnet, I have never seen a nastier phishing scam message than this one:

Hi, victim. I write you because I put a malware on the web page with porn which you have visited. My virus grabbed all your personal info and turned on your camera which captured the process of your onanism. Just after that the soft saved your contact list. I will delete the compromising video and info if you pay me 300 USD in bitcoin. This is address for payment : --CENSORED--

I give you 30 hours after you open my message for making the transaction. As soon as you read the message I'll see it right away. It is not necessary to tell me that you have sent money to me. This address is connected to you, my system will delete everything automatically after transfer confirmation. If you need 48 h just reply on this letter with +. You can visit the police station but nobody can help you. If you try to deceive me , I'll see it right away ! I dont live in your country. So they can not track my location even for 9 months. Goodbye. Dont forget about the shame and to ignore, Your life can be ruined.

The description of the events are such that many recipients will, unlike me, not be able to know that this bastard is bluffing. If you received this mail (good idea you chose to search the web for this), you can now relax. It is not true. It shows how Bitcoin is once again a tremendous vector for crime.

By fanning this out to millions of people, the percentage of guys who freak out on reception of this might be staggering. In this age of untrustworthy computing it isn't so absurd to think that some random stranger may indeed collect video footage from your laptop camera. It is in fact happening. You can find videos on the darknet that were quite evidently recorded without the victim's knowledge. It can take a simple virus, trojan or website triggering a bug in the Javascript of your web browser to take over your computer and infest with malware that would both steal your contact data and record video off your camera. Especially if you are using a proprietary operating system (Windows, Mac).

The urgency to regulate technology isn't only about saving democracy from the Internet, it is also about stopping this empowerment of total strangers to ruin our lives — each one of us — one by one — individually.

And always remember: this kind of Internet scam would not be possible if the legislation were in place. Send it to your political representatives. Ask them to make technology resistant to these kinds of abuse, using the only measures that actually work.

Thomas Miller for #youbroketheinternet.

P.S. Technical extra: The text message was encoded in strange UTF-8 characters that look exactly like regular text but make it difficult for search engines to classify the text as text and recognize it. This method is also a novelty to me.

Last Change: 2018-07-30

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