“Sextortion” With A Webcam

Security cyberstalking eyeAccording to a recent article at NakedSecurity.com, the U.S. “FBI has arrested a 27-year-old man, who they claim hacked the accounts of Facebook users, and coerced hundreds of women into stripping while he watched via Skype.”

The hacker allegedly broke into the victims’ email and Facebook accounts, changed their passwords and then searched for nude or semi-nude photographs. He also gathered personally identifiable information such as names, passwords, names of their friends and other personal details. Any guess where he got that personal information? Yep, their Facebook profiles. Shame on him, but more shame on the victims for plumping up their profiles with personal information.

Okay, off my soapbox and back to the blackmailing article. Then, “Posing as a woman, [the hacker] would allegedly trick other potential victims into believing they were talking to one of their female friends, and persuade them to remove their clothing in front of their webcam. What kind of “friend” is that?

[The hacker] allegedly threatened to post nude photos of some of his victims on their Facebook pages if they refused to comply with his demands.

The FBI says that it has seized approximately 3,000 compromising photos from [the hacker]’s computer, and believes more than 350 women may have suffered from what the FBI has described as “sextortion”.”

This crime could have been avoided by the victims if they’d done the following:

1. Not stored nude pictures of themselves on their computer.

2. Had their computer properly secured with an active firewall.

3. Used strong passwords.

4. Not put so much personally identifiable information on their Facebook profile.

Reference: Naked Security article

Be very careful…it’s dangerous out there.

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Remember, personal computing is a blast…keep it productive and enjoyable.

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I’m also on Twitter, @PaulsInternet.

Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and FreeByte.com



Filed under Cybercrime, Facebook, Internet Security, passwords, Warning

2 responses to ““Sextortion” With A Webcam

  1. You have got to be kidding me… I really have to wonder what this world is coming to; or, maybe it was already there and the internet is bringing it all out. 350 women, this guy must have been quite convincing.


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