A popular new sextortion scam tricks victims into thinking they are being recorded on their Nest cameras

A popular new sextortion scam tricks victims into thinking they are being recorded on their Nest cameras
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  • Fears over the misuse of internet connected cameras like those made by Google’s Nest and Amazon’s Ring has combined with the powerful and simple email scam known as “sextortion” to bilk unsuspecting victim, according to researchers.
  • It is an alarming new version of the old scam where criminals try to convince you they have illicit recordings or information about you they’ll release unless you pay them a ransom
  • Researchers at Mimecast recorded a huge spike in the new tactic, with more than 1,600 scam emails intercepted in just a two-day period from Jan. 2 to Jan. 3.

A new form of sextortion scam bilks unsuspecting victims out of money after telling them they’ve been recorded privately on home security cameras.

It’s an alarming new version of the old scam where criminals try to convince you they have illicit recordings or information about you, which they’ll release unless you pay them a ransom, said Kiri Addison, head of data science at IT security company Mimecast. She said Mimecast recorded a huge spike in the new tactic, with more than 1,600 scam emails intercepted in just a two-day period from Jan. 2 to Jan. 3.

“This one is a bit different. It stood out, because it’s really convoluted in a way,” Addison said.

“It starts out with a single email saying ‘we’ve got some nude photos of you.’”

The email then provides a link that leads to a landing page on a website, showing generic footage from a Nest camera or another surveillance camera in a common area, like a bar or restaurant. This, according to the ransomers, is supposedly an area familiar to the victim. The generic footage, which looks like any location the average person may have visited in the last week, is meant to convince the victim he or she has been recorded elsewhere, possibly via smartphone, for a long period of time.

“Imagine everything you have done in over 11 months and imagine what we have seen you do,” one such landing page reads. “Your videos are currently being uploaded on several porn websites and you have only one week until they [are] free for the public to view.”

Source: CNBC

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