In a report by UK firm Digital Shadows that tracked the samples of 792,000 emails which were taken for analysis. It was revealed that during the sextortion email-based blackmail campaign, the criminals received some $332,000 from more than 3,100 sender bitcoin addresses. The funds were deposited in 92 bitcoin addresses which further revealed that the bitcoin wallets that were associated with such scams are expected to be reaping $540 per victim on the average.
Targeting the victims:
Throughout the campaign, criminals followed a similar process. The report revealed that the extortionist would provide the target with a known password. It was given as a proof of compromise which was then used to claim of having video footage of the victim viewing adult content online. And then, the cyber criminals would ask for a ransom to be paid into a specific bitcoin address. The scammers used to target the high-net-worth individuals who had high salaries with some offering the equivalent of $360,000 per year. With the use of social media especially LinkedIn users, criminals used to easily target their victims.
The researchers revealed that the capabilities of the criminals varied in terms of skills. There were few who showed little understanding and distributed emails on a limited scale. It was revealed with their roughly produced emails which even failed to get pass a mail server or a spam filter. Whereas, there were others who were highly sophisticated as their emails were sent from specifically created outlook.com addresses. The campaign was launched on a global scale with servers based across five different countries. The IP location information revealed that the highest amount of emails in the analyzed sample were sent from Vietnam (8.5 %). It was then followed by Brazil (5.3) and India (4.7%).
Here is how a typical scam email looks like:
The original article appeared on TNW