Sextortion campaigns are back in revenge.
At the root of the campaign is a botnet that currently operates on more than 450,000 infected hosts, according to a new report from Check Point Research, an IT security company.
Botnet – a network of malicious computers – spies millions on sextortion threats, as many as 30,000 an hour, Check Point said.
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"It happens while we talk [and] and we can expect them to scale out," a Check Point spokesman told Fox News. "The numbers are insane and alarming to us. Pure speed and volume are outstanding. "
The basic email address is quite simple. It requires payment and threatens to release sexual content, usually a video, if the requirement is not met. The person or entity sending the email usually threatens to send the sexual content to family, friends, colleagues or social networking contacts.
Here is an example of a spam-bot sextortion email provided by Check Point: [1
Your computer was infected with my private malware … My malware gave me full access to all your accounts (see password above), full control over your computer, and that was possible too I spy on you over your webcam.
I collected all your private data and I RECORDED YOU (through your webcam) SATISFYED YOURSELF!
I can publish the video of you and all your private data across the internet, social networks, by email to all contacts. "
Sextortion is a growing threat. In 2018, the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center received 51, 146 extortion-related complaints with adjusted losses of over $ 83 million, up 242 percent from 2017.
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And the majority of blackmail complaints in 2018 were part of a sextortion campaign, the Det FBI said in the report.
Phorpiex (aka Trik ) botnet behind the latest attacks has been active for nearly a decade, according to Check Point, but it's only recently that it added a spam bot to run large-scale sextortion campaigns.
Phorpiex / Trik spam bot taps a victim's password is usually included in the shock value spam email, and to make it more compelling, Check Point added.
"The spam bot can produce a large amount of spam emails – up to 30,000 per hour, each spam campaign can cover up to 27 million potential victims, "Check Point said in the report.
It seems to pay off. During the five months that Check Point has been monitoring the operation, it has registered transfers of more than 11 Bitcoin – about $ 87,000 dollars – to the criminals behind the operation.
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