"Sextortion" Email Scams

We have been alerted to new, so-called "sextortion" email scams, which have been documented recently in the media.

Recipients of this scam receive an email claiming their computers were hacked with malware which recorded them watching pornography on an adult website. The extortionist tells the victim they must pay a so-called "privacy fee" to have this evidence suppressed, otherwise the video will be sent to all of their contacts.

Unlike many email scams, there may be a small element of truth to some of these. Some messages include the user's real password for an actual website, indicating that some kind of vulnerability has occurred. Either the user's credentials were leaked or published, or a site had been compromised and allowed the extortionist to log keystrokes.

However, it has been reported (so far) that the extortionist does not actually possess the compromising video they claim they will share, and are simply tricking users into paying the fee. The victim's computer may not actually contain the claimed malware, either.

Stargate customers who receive one of these emails are urged to contact authorities as extortion is a serious criminal offence. DO NOT PAY the extortion fee. Also, verify if the extortionist has provided valid credentials for an actual website or service you use. If so, you will likely want to change that password or delete the account entirely.

As an added safety measure, run a security scan on your computer to ensure everything is okay.

For more information, see:

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