“I felt like a slave.” Is what most victims say about this ugly side of cybercrime known as Sextortion. The FBI has defined that Sextortion refers to the broad category of sexual exploitation in which abuse of power is the means of coercion, as well as to the type of sexual exploitation in which threatened release of sexual images or information is the means of pressure. (Sextortion — Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sextortion
Men are seduced online by porn sites that are infected by malware. In some cases, “catfishing “methods of creating love relationships and the exchanging of videos and photos allow for hacking.
Sextortion is often confused with “Sexting” which is the sending of or forwarding explicit images that usually are sent by phone.
Women are the most common victims they have their webcams accessed, and through phishing, their systems are hacked, and this gives leverage to the attackers. The virus is the “Black Shades, “ a powerful RAT Trojan. (Remote Action Trogan virus). (1) https://newsroom.trendmicro.com/news/all-about-blackshades-malware-lets-hackers-watch-you-through-your-webcam
The Black Shades virus began to appear in 2014 and became a part of a significant FBI takedown on the “Dark Web “ during that year. Cybercriminals spawned new versions known as “Dark Comet” and Sonar.Dark.Comet (2).
These viruses are installed on the system with “ keyloggers” that steal the user’s passwords and take control of the webcam and allow the criminal to make changes without the user’s knowledge.
Men who access web searches for porn have the systems infected by malicious sites or opening phishing emails. The emails containing sexy photos when opened they inject a malware known as “PsiXBot” (3). This virus can track the site that you open and then snapshot any internet sites and also capture audio and record this data.
An extortion letter is crafted and sent to the user demanding payment in the form of money, information, or espionage.
WOMEN AS A VICTIM.
The attackers promise the victims freedom by providing more photos or knowledge of friends who have sexy images. However, once a user communicates with the attacker, they never let them go until they have received enough sexual gratification or profit from selling their photos.
The teenage victims, both young boys, and girls are an extraordinary and different target from the adults and in many cases, willingly provide photos to their attackers thinking that they are communicating with a potential romantic partner.
The results from these relationships with attackers are the cause of human trafficking, drug addiction, and suicides.
The largest source of Sextortion cases happens through social media sites like Facebook , Instagram, Snapchat, and others where you share photos on a smartphone.
The statutory factors become more significant when a minor is involved, and an adult requests sexually explicit photos or videos. Now the attack becomes a child Pornography case, and law enforcement needs to be alerted, but this rarely happens. (B.wittes, brookings.edu/governance.)
What can you do to protect yourself and your family from Sextortion?
- Parents need to monitor the teen’s communications on social media and make changes to the security settings and add security software if needed .
- Read and discuss with your child about the dangers online of contact with strangers. (contact the FBI site as https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/stop-sextortion-youth-face-risk-online-090319#Resources-for%20Youth)
- Listen to the podcast covering Sextortion at https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/stop-sextortion-youth-face-risk-online-090319#How-to%20Talk%20with%20Your%20Kids
What an adult can do!
- Women and Men should never allow free access to their computer and smartphone.
- Block messages from strangers via social media on your phone or computer.
- Be suspicious of all encounters if they ask for photos or videos on the first encounter.
- If an attacker contacts you and they provide photos from your system as for help at https://www.fbi.gov/
The Brookings Institution , B.Wittes , May 2016 brookings.edu/governanceThe Brookings Institution , B.Wittes , May 2016.
https://newsroom.trendmicro.com/news/all-about-blackshades-malware-lets-hackers-watch-you-through-your-webcam (1) Black Shades malware trend micro , 05.21.1914.
https://www.proofpoint.com/us/threat-insight/post/psixbot-continues-evolve-updated-dns-infrastructure (3) psixbot malware 09.06.2019.
Originally published at http://clickbite.net on September 16, 2019.