In what can only be described in lazily taking a page from the Black Mirror playbook, recently a couple of similar-worded emails slipped through my spam filter, trying to extort me in one of the most plain (and frankly stupid) ways imaginable.
Here’s one specimen:
From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Tickеt#902079480: [db2@REDACTED] 04-05-2018 12:54:08 Hello,everything will be okay
Dont mind on my illiteracy, I am foreign.We uploaded our virus onto your OS.Since that moment I stole all privy data from your device. Withal I received slightly more compromising.The most important compromising which I got- its a videotape with your wanking.I put malware on a porn site and then you installed it. As soon as you decided with the video and tapped on a play button, my software immediately loaded on your Operating System.
After loading, your web camera shoot the record with you masturbating, moreover malware captured exactly the porn video you chose. In next few days my deleterious soft found all your social media and email contacts.
If you want to destroy all the evidence- send me 430 usd in Bitcoins. Here is my Bitcoin number - 13yDLUKctXXSvuDd94SN2iHPk2fBLV5Szy
You have 20 h. to go since now. When I receive transfer I will destroy the video permanently. Differently I will forward the tape to all your contacts.
From: email@example.com Subject: Ticкet#402805949: db3@REDACTED 04/05/2018 12:54:11 Be clever
Do not mind on my grammar, I am from Japan.I uploaded our malicious program on your OS.Then I pilfered all private information from your device. Furthermore I have a little bit more compromising.The most amusing compromising that I stole- its a record with your masturbation.I adjusted deleterious soft on a porn web site and after you loaded it. As soon as you chose the video and pressed play, my software immediately set up on your OS.
After loading, your front-camera made the videotape with you self-abusing, additionally malware saved exactly the porn video you watched. In next few days my deleterious soft collected all your social and email contacts.
If you want to erase the records- transfer me 420 united state dollar in Bitcoins. It is my Btc address - 19Z5KJUuYAGhdrvCeCyHRFGnWwHuYnGnT7
You have 22 h. after reading. When I get transaction I will eliminate the evidence evermore. Other way I will forward the record to all your contacts.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject Ticкet#377908106: db5@REDACTED 04/05/2018 12:54:14 Cooperation
Do not consider on my English, Im from Belgium.I installed our malware on your device.After that I pilfered all individual data from your system. Additionally I received slightly more compromising evidence.The most important compromising which I stole- its a video with your self-abusing.I set deleterious soft on a porn page and then you loaded it. As soon as you chose the video and tapped on a play, my software at once adjusted on your system.
After downloading, your web camera made the record with you self-abusing, furthermore I captured precisely the porn video you masturbated on. In next few days my deleterious soft grabbed all your social and work contacts.
If you desire to delete all the evidence- send me 560 euro in BTC(cryptocurrency). It is my Bitcoin address - 1J8Tf2mAxsX9kBk96CyQf2NyuoPttZq4PL
You have 24 hours from this moment. As soon as I get transfer I will destroy the video in perpetuity. Other way I will forward the tape to all your contacts.
Alright, now we are in the realm of extortion regarding a supposedly existing recording of me masturbating in front of my computer — and the fear of having the (non-existing of course) recording shown to all my contacts. I’ve got a couple of comments on this.
First off, bad luck lazy extortionists: I have no “contacts” that would be interested in seeing me naked and masturbating, let alone be interested in knowing what gets me off. Even if you had anything (which you don’t), I’d let it play out. I’m far too curious to be intimidated by some sweaty, patchy guys in a shithole backroom somewhere, trying to extort me on the basis of personal shame. I grow increasingly shameless, courtesy of the world going slowly but surely insane. Plus, something I learned back in the 80s: you don’t negotiate with terrorists, like, ever.
So the scheme is apparently directed at people who are deathly afraid about getting exposed like this. It will probably have real consequences like being openly ridiculed, expelled from family circles, losing your job and even bodily harm. When you consider strong religious views and their pervasiveness in culture, getting information like this in the open may well be your undoing, permanently. Pressure like this can drive people to suicide. Which makes this all the more perfidious. The individuals behind this are ready to accept putting at least someone under immense psychological stress by being afraid for his well-being and possibly life. They accept the possible outcome of suicide. All for the vague possibility of earning a couple of hundred bucks.
This is what our great capitalist societies make people do. You cannot be surprised when the “money equals success” system you created puts its primary focus on obtaining money and increasingly leaves all other considerations aside. After all, this is what you built it to do: to define success with the amount of money you are able to amass, no matter how. Without a clear moral imperative, this is what happens. Even with it, look at the people we vote into power and how morally bankrupt they mostly are. Like it or not, leaders set standards by which acceptable social behavior is measured. With the current crop of world leaders, what kind of examples are being presented?
Regarding the success of such schemes, the wallets listed contained the following amounts at the time of writing:
Clearly, at least 6 people already fell for the scam.