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Sextorso: six facts you need to know about the sex scam | Security

The sextorso scams, in which criminals ask for a ransom in order not to post alleged images of the person watching porn on the Internet, make more and more victims over the years. The fraud is highly profitable, and some campaigns even make thousands of dollars. This is a recent practice on the Internet. While spam is more than 40 years old, reports of sextorso scams have started to appear in recent years.

According to the FBI, in 2018 in the United States, there was a 242% jump in fraud compared to 2017. Therefore, knowing how to identify the main characteristics of this type of fundamental trap to protect yourself. Next, the TechTudo prepared a list with six facts about sextorso blows.

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Sextorso: six facts you need to know about the sex scam Photo: Pond5Sextorso: six facts you need to know about the sex scam Photo: Pond5

Sextorso: six facts you need to know about the sex scam Photo: Pond5

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As realistic as they may seem, sextorso blows are nothing more than bluffs. When in doubt, always be wary of messages sent by unknown recipients. When you receive a suspicious email, do a search to see if other people have found something similar as well. It is often possible to detect a criminal attempt and, in such cases, the best solution is to ignore and delete the email.

2. Features sophisticated versions

Much of the sextorso scams come from traditional e-mail messages, but cybercriminals have devised increasingly sophisticated traps. One version of fraud, for example, uses password-protected files to deceive victims. This tactic induces the user to believe in the threat, since, despite being encrypted, the document attached to the email allows the visualization of a fake content, formed by the history of browsers and videos. The s credential would be released upon payment in bitcoins.

Sextorso scams: criminals adopt sophisticated strategies to attract victims Photo: Luciana Maline / TechTudoSextorso scams: criminals adopt sophisticated strategies to attract victims Photo: Luciana Maline / TechTudo

Sextorso scams: criminals adopt sophisticated strategies to attract victims Photo: Luciana Maline / TechTudo

Another type of scam involves trojans capable of stealing information from the victim's computer and ransomware that encrypt files. Instead of demanding a payment for not disclosing the supposed intimate content, the scammer asks the user to download a file in ZIP format. Without knowing it, the person ends up installing the malicious software and loses the data of the machine. There is also a version of the scam that attacks management platforms and blogging, such as WordPress and Blogger, to attract victims.

Sextorso blows keep growing. In 2018 alone, there were more than 51,000 reports of this type of fraud in the United States. The number, released by the FBI's Internet Crime Division, represents a jump of 242% over 2017. It is estimated that the victims lost US $ 83 million (about R $ 332.9 million, in direct conversion) , money that went straight into the criminals' bitcoin wallets.

4. The chances of being a victim again increase if you answer the email

Instead of targeting new victims, most criminals use tactics spray and pray (spray and pray, in free translation), which consists of triggering, through botnets, messages to an extensive list of emails taken from previous scams. Thus, hackers ensure that the percentage of return, however small, will be profitable, since selected people are likely to respond. So the best way to react to a sextorso scam is to ignore it and delete the email. By not responding to the message, the user helps to weaken the criminals' strategy.

5. Criminals have tactics so that the message does not go to the spam box

Hackers circumvent security filters on email services so that the sextorso message reaches the recipient's inbox Photo: Pond5Hackers circumvent security filters on email services so that the sextorso message reaches the recipient's inbox Photo: Pond5

Hackers circumvent security filters on email services so that the sextorso message reaches the recipient's inbox Photo: Pond5

By default, e-mail services direct suspicious messages to the spam box. Aware of this, criminals adopt tactics to circumvent security filters and make the threat reach the victim's inbox. The main ones involve writing the text in a language other than that spoken in the recipient's country, such as Russian for North American users, and dividing the address of the bitcoin wallet into two parts. In this case, the message instructs the victim to use a translation tool to finally have access to the sextorso text that threatens the dissemination of intimate images.

6. different from revenge porn

Although both involve the dissemination of intimate content, sextorso and revenge porn (or revenge porn) are not the same. The first occurs when the criminal has intimate images of the victim and threatens to disclose the content to obtain economic advantages. Sometimes scammers don't have any compromising material in their hands, but they use quite convincing mechanisms so that the person really believes in the fraud.

Revenge pornography happens when sexually explicit content, such as sex and nudes, is shared on the Internet without the consent of the person portrayed. In most cases, the media are disseminated by a former victim's partner as a way of getting revenge for the end of the relationship. In Brazil, the practice of revenge porn crime with a sentence of one to five years in prison. The law provides for an increase of up to two thirds of the sentence if the offender is someone close to the victim.

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