RealNews

Cyber Blackmail Wave Targets Office Workers

Cyber blackmail artists are shaking down office workers, threatening to delete computer files or install pornographic images on their work PCs unless they pay a ransom, police and security experts said. The extortion scam, which is believed to have surfaced one year ago, indiscriminately targets anyone on the corporate ladder with a PC connected to the Internet. It usually starts with a threatening e-mail in which the author claims to have the power to take over a worker’s computer through an exploit in the corporate network, experts said. The e-mail typically contains a demand that unless a small fee is paid — at first no more than $20 or $30 — they will attack the PC with a file-wiping program or download onto the machine images of child pornography. “They prey on the nice secretary who wouldn’t do anything wrong. When she gets one of these e-mails she thinks ‘Oh, my goodness what am I going to do?’ So she puts it on her credit card and transfers the funds to the (suspect’s online bank) account and hopes it goes away,” a British detective specializing in cyber-crime told Reuters. The officer advised against cooperating with the fraudsters. “If a person pays up, say it’s just 20 euros, then they have identified a soft target. They may come back for more, next time demanding more money.” Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

OODA is comprised of a unique team of international experts capable of providing advanced intelligence and analysis, strategy and planning support, risk and threat management, training, decision support, crisis response, and security services to global corporations and governments.