CyberNews Briefs

Researchers Block Two Million Extortion Emails Daily

Security researchers at Proofpoint have warned users to be aware of extortion scams after announcing that they block millions of these emails every day. Proofpoint released a new blog post claiming that on average, it blocks a million extortion emails every 24 hours. This figure reportedly rises to two million on high volume days. Most of the emails have a sextortion theme in which the attacker claims to have webcam video of the victim engaging in inappropriate activity. The attacker then threatens to distribute the alleged footage to email contacts unless a ransom is paid.

Although these threats are not new, Proofpoint has highlighted how widespread and frequent they have become. Due to the nature of the claims made in the emails, victims are lured or scared into giving away sensitive information or payment. Victim information such as passwords are sometimes included in the email to add legitimacy to the threat actor’s claim that they have successfully hacked the machine. However, these passwords are usually obtained from data breaches. Thousands of victims have fallen prey to sextortion scams across the globe each year. The threat remains high, Proofpoint says.

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