Krebs on Security recently wrote about investigations into the wave of extortion spam doing the rounds. As chance would have it, I recently started receiving these emails myself. I’ve had three, so far, over the last week or so. All from the same email address (obviously not the real origin), and all with slight variations on the same message, and a unique Bitcoin wallet each time. For example:

These are the first few mail systems used by the most recent message, before the message reaches my own setup:

Interesting things to note:

  • The password given must be from the Tesco data breach – I remember that one as their sign-up form cut off part of the password I had typed in – I don’t remember being a Tesco Bank customer, but I have used their online grocery store, and I assume it’s all the same login system.
  • The amount they want paid has decreased over time – it started at $3000, the most recent email is $1000
  • Similarly, the number of friends they threaten to send their “recording” to has gone from 9 to 5. Perhaps the scammer is testing at what “level” they get the most returns?
  • The English is good, but not quite native-speaker level.

Given I already know this is a scam (and I don’t even have a webcam attached to my PC, for another thing… ?), I’m not exactly a prime “mark” for this. But I can easily see how some less clued-up person could be scared into handing over their savings.

[Addendum] – as I’ve been writing this, a fourth email has arrived. Same sender, same basic message, but this time asking for $5000, and threatening to send to 14 friends.

Update:- I added some of the mail headers to the post, for a bit more information.

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