Friday, December 08, 2017


So, did I mention the blackmail attempt?  Not me trying to blackmail someone, obviously, but rather someone's attempt to blackmail me.  Not that they actually had anything to blackmail me with, but Hell, that's never stopped the anonymous arseholes who inhabit the scuzzier reaches of the internet, has it?  For this was an internet scam which was being perpetrated against large numbers of people.  Unfortunately, I deleted the email before I decided to write about this farce, but I've managed to find a slight variation on it on the Feed Burner forums (the would be blackmailers were spoofing the Feed Burner email address, making it look as if that was where the email was originating from), which you can read below:

"You received this message because someone requested an email subscription for [redacted] to a FeedBurner feed. If you did not make this request, please ignore the rest of this message.
(Ps: If you ignore this message, all your privacy will be exposed, please read below carefully).

Hello, You do not know me and you're probably wondering why you're getting this email, right?

The answer is that I put a malvware on a site that has adult videos (porn) and you accessed the website to have fun (you know what i mean).

While you were watching the system began to function as a RDP (Remote Desktop) with a keylogger through which I had access to your screen and your webcam.

After that my software collected all your contacts from messengers, emails and social networks.

And what did I do? I created a double-screen video - First Part Your Screen Record (you have a nice taste, lol) and Second Part the recording of your webcam. And all your contacts.

So, what should you do? In my opinion U$350 is a fair value for our little secret.
you will make the payment via Bitcoin (if you do not know this, search "how to buy bitcoin", it's very easy)
My bitcoin address is: [redacted]

You will only have 1 day after reading this message to make the payment (I have set a special pixel in this email and I will know when you read it).

If I do not receive my Bitcoins I will send your video to all your contacts (including co-workers, family, etc ...).

If I get paid all the material will be destroyed.

If you want proof, reply with 'YEAH' and I will send your video to 5 contacts that I have collected from you."

Basically, what they are claiming is that they have a video of you wanking off to a porn video, taken via the webcam on your laptop.  Now, from the outset, this is problematic for them in my case - even if I do wank off to such videos, there is no way anyone would be able to video it in that way as I always put a piece of masking tape over the lens of the webcam on any laptop I own as soon as I unbox it.  Which isn't because I do spend all my time online whacking off, but because it is a sensible security precaution - there have been cases of webcams being used to spy on people.  As I don't use Skype (or similar messaging systems), I simply have no need for the camera.

Even if you have been whipping your top to online porn videos, there are several other tell tale signs that this is just some scumbag scammer chancing their arm.  Most notably, you'll notice that the actual site you are supposed to have been on is never named, despite the fact that doing so would add credibility.  Also, the whole business of providing 'proof' that the threat is real by posting the material to five contacts is ridiculous - doing that would put it in the public domain, negating any further threat, therefore nullifying the potential for further blackmail.  Absolute amateurs!  Also, speaking personally, I'm not sure that I still have five email contacts whose addresses are still valid these days.

Despite this being an obvious scam (the fact that my email filters put it straight in the spam folder is further proof that it is a widespread scam), some people seem to have fallen for it and paid up.  To be quite honest, even if I had been wanking off to internet porn and someone had a video of it, I still wouldn't pay up.  There's nothing wrong with looking at pornography in the privacy of your own home.  There's not even anything wrong with knocking one out to it, if that's your thing, in the privacy of your own home.  (Obviously, if you were doing it at work, or in the library, there would be a problem, but I don't think it would be illicit videos you doing it that you'd need to worry about).  They are the ones committing an offence and not just by attempting blackmail: the gross invasion of other people's privacy in the first place is probably even worse.

So there you have it: my brush with blackmail.  In a way I feel insulted that I was being targeted (along with countless others) by such a bunch of incompetent amateurs.  I think I've been around the web long enough to expect to be extorted by professionals!



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