A few months ago I received an e-mail that got me worried for a few seconds. It looked like this, and chances are you've seen it too.
From: Kalie Paci
Subject: mattias - UqtX7m It seems that, UqtX7m, is your pass word. You do not know me and you are probably thinking why you are getting this mail, correct? Well, I actually placed a malware on the adult video clips (porn) web-site and guess what, you visited this site to have fun (you know what I mean). While you were watching videos, your browser started operating as a RDP (Remote control Desktop) that has a keylogger which gave me access to your display and also web camera. Immediately after that, my software program collected your entire contacts from your Messenger, FB, and email. What exactly did I do? I created a double-screen video. First part displays the video you were viewing (you have a nice taste lol), and second part displays the recording of your web camera. What should you do? Well, in my opinion, $1900 is a fair price for our little secret. You’ll make the payment through Bitcoin (if you do not know this, search “how to buy bitcoin” in Google). BTC Address: 1MQNUSnquwPM9eQgs7KtjDcQZBfaW7iVge (It is cAsE sensitive, so copy and paste it) Important: You now have one day to make the payment. (I’ve a unique pixel in this message, and right now I know that you have read this email message). If I don’t get the BitCoins, I will send your video recording to all of your contacts including members of your family, colleagues, and many others. Having said that, if I do get paid, I will destroy the video immidiately. If you need evidence, reply with “Yes!” and I definitely will send your video recording to your 11 friends. This is a non-negotiable offer, and so please don’t waste my personal time and yours by responding to this mail.
If you read it, it looks like spam -- doesn't it?
Well, the thing that got me worried for a few seconds was that the subject line and the body contained an actual password I used a while back:
To receive an email with a -- what feels like -- personal secret in the subject, it draws your attention. It's clever in the sense that you feel both violated and ashamed for the consequences. It looks legit.
Let me tell you clearly: it's a scam and you don't need to pay anyone.
I first mentioned it on my Twitter describing what feels like the brilliant part of this scam:
- Email + Passwords, easy to get (plenty of leaks online)
- Everyone watches porn
- Nobody wants that leaked
- The same generic e-mail can be used for every victim
Whoever is running this scam thought about the psychology of this one and found the sweet spot: it gets your attention and it gets you worried.
Well played. But don't fall for it and most importantly: do not pay anything.