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The Vilest Phishing Method, Sextortion, Often Snares Using Fake Security Alerts

It’s embarrassing, so few employees tend to report it, but a type of phishing attack known as sextortion is becoming increasingly common at workplaces, according to one security company’s recent analysis. To get the attention of users, many of these threatening messages are initially disguised as legitimate security warnings.

These type of scams are carried out by criminals who claim to have stolen compromising material from their intended ’s device and usually involve a threat to release it unless they pay up. Sometimes they claim to have seized control of a victim’s webcam, or imply that they’ve infiltrated their accounts and discovered some batch of salacious material. More often than not, the claims are bogus. The FBI’s definition of sextortion also extends to attackers who demand sexual images or favors instead of money. (Bitcoin, of course, continues to be the favorite form of payment for this specific category of lowlife.)

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