April 22nd 2020

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU FIND OUT YOUR PASSWORD HAS BEEN HACKED

Now that people are spending more time than ever at home on their devices, security vulnerabilities are becoming a heightened threat. Many people have been signing up to new apps such as Houseparty, which open up the door to people’s Facebook and email data, without much in the way of security provided through their home WiFi. Businesses are able to protect personal data relating to their employees passwords whilst in the office, but what about now everyone is at home?

A recent password hack is making the rounds which claims to know your email address and holds you to ransom in exchange for transfer of bitcoin. Here’s an example email you should watch out for… 

 

Subject: [your email / username][yourpassword]

(Yes that’s right, to start off the subject title will actually contain your own password and a username you commonly use)

Text:

I know [your password] is your password.

I need your attention for the upcoming twenty four hours, or I may make sure that you live out of shame for the rest of your life.

You do not know me personally. Yet I know everything about you. All of your Facebook contact list, mobile phone contacts plus all the online activity on your computer from the previous 162 days.

The main reason I’m crafting this particular email to you is I have footage of you masturbating. The last time you visited a porn webpage, my spyware activated your webcam and gave me some lovely footage of you through your web camera.

I have got the complete recording, and I’d like to make you a one-time, non-negotiable offer in order to stop me sending it round to your whole contact list. It might end up being your friend, boss, co-workers, parents, who knows! To make sure this video doesn’t get into the wrong hands, do the following:

Purchase $2000 in bitcoin and send it to the below address:

[bitcoin address]

If you send this donation, right after that I will disappear and never make contact with you again. I will delete everything I’ve got in relation to you. You can keep on living your normal day to day life with no stress. You’ve got 24 hours to do so.

 

Wow. Makes for quite an intense, scary read right? Given that in recent statistics, 77% of men in the UK admitted to watching porn in the last month, and 47% of women, then it’s pretty high numbers who could find this email plausible. Given the impending threat and embarrassment at the thought of someone seeing you in a less than positive light, many people could fall for this scam completely.

It's important to not feel threatened by this type of email and to ignore it completely. Here are our top tips for knowing how to identify that these emails are spam and what you should do to avoid them.

  1. Click on the name of the sender to view the email address. You will often find that they are random strings of numbers and letters and look illegitimate.
  2. Being asked for bitcoin or any form of payment online under such circumstances should set clear alarm bells ringing that this is a scam.
  3. You should ignore the email at all costs and do not respond. Do not make any payments.
  4. Change your password to be certain. The password they’ve used may be an old one, but it’s worth changing your passwords and making sure they are as secure as possible.
  5. Check how your details have been compromised. There are tools out there such as our Dark Web ID that allow you to see if your personal data is for sale on the dark web.
  6. Be careful what you sign up to and where you share your details. 

If you'd like to know more about how to stay cyber safe whilst working from home, then don't hesitate to contact us and speak to our team. We're on hand to help with any useful tips and advice! 

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