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Spam scare campaign targeting email addresses

Priority Level: 
15 August 2017

A spam scare campaign is targeting email addresses, in which the attacker claims to have embedded a virus in adult web videos that is:

  • recording keystrokes made by the computer user
  • video recording
  • collecting contact information from messengers, emails and social media.

The email asks for bitcoins in exchange for not releasing this data. Bitcoin is an electronic currency with no central bank that relies on cryptography to secure and control transactions.

This campaign is not necessarily targeted. It is likely that the spammer has a spam list of email addresses they have sent this email to. It is not necessarily related to visiting any adult website.

Ways to protect yourself

Don’t pay the ransom. This is a scare campaign and there is no evidence that any data has been recorded. We recommend that if you receive this email (or any extortion email) you do not pay the ransom.

Even if an attacker does have data, paying a ransom will only fund their activities, and it is likely they will ask for more money. You should never pay a ransom.

Secure your devices. Use anti-virus software to monitor and protect your computer and other devices (like smartphones and tablets) from infection, and keep your operating system and applications up-to-date.

More information

Learn more about how to protect yourself online from Stay Smart Online.