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July 20, 2018

Internet Extortion Follow-up

The extortionary email I posted Tuesday has apparently been sent all over the country. KrebsonSecurity has a good post here; note the language is word-for-word what Mary got. This scam appears to be the descendant of a snail mail scam from January in which the hacker claims to know of an adulterous affair; the language in the snail mail is very similar to that in the email.

Krebs had a good suggestion to add to my list of how not be vulnerable: cover the camera on your PC when you’re not using it.

At least one reader of the email version of my blog unsubscribed because the post, which contained the extortion email, apparently triggered an ISP’s spam filter. The ISP notified my reader that I was sending bad stuff and suggested blocking me. Good news, I guess, that the spam filter was working. Maybe I should have posted a picture of the email rather than its text.

I notified the FBI, which has a form for such complaints at https://complaint.ic3.gov/default.aspx. I also emailed the Vermont Attorney General’s office at AGO.CAP@vermont.gov and signed up for scam alerts at https://ago.vermont.gov/scam-alerts-signup-form/.

See Attempted Internet Extortion for the text of the email and other security hints.

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