Chilling ransom attacks threatening to share embarrassing information ‘driving people to suicide’
Victims are told compromising material will be shared unless they cough up huge sums of money
Chilling ransom messages being sent to random victims are costing them thousands of pounds and even driving some to the brink of suicide, according to reports.
Shocking emails sent to victims warn that compromising material will be used against them unless they hand over vast sums of cash.
In some cases, hackers claim claims that malware is set up on porn sites, meaning they have recorded what’s happening on a person’s screen while recording them on a webcam.
One such demand, the Mail on Sunday reports, says that unless the user gives a “donation” of $3,000 – £2,300 – the material will be sent to their contacts.
Cyber security expert Colin Tankard told the newspaper: “There have been instances when people have committed suicide as a result of the horrible threats made.
“It breaks up perfectly stable relationships and causes untold misery.”
Victims tend to be selected at random and the sender does not have compromising material.
Mr Tankard said paying up is the worst thing someone can do in this situation, as this means they could be put on a ‘sucker list’.
This means they could be targeted again.
It is thought that innocent people could be ripped off to the tune of £30million per year.
Mail on Sunday journalist Sarah Hartley, who was targeted by ransomware, said: “Although I knew I had not been watching pornography, the way I was threatened – that a video of me would be passed on to contacts if I dared breathe a word – was horribly menacing.”
People are persuaded two pay sums of £500 or more in anonymous bitcoins, making it hard to track down the scammer.
Famous examples include the WannaCry virus, which impacted more than 200,000 computers, including those used by the NHS.
Some victims paid up more than £100,000 to unlock their machines.
Read the full article here in The Mirror