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i have a weird web blackmail situation-yikes!
Posted by: robfilms
Date: July 10, 2019 10:37AM
i got a threatening email via one of my gmail accounts.

someone says a website i visited spied on my activities.

nothing illegal. nothing immoral. certainly embarrassing.

the threat is to send money via a bitcoin address or video of my personal activities while alone in the bathroom will be sent to my contacts.

he then sent the gmail account's password to me.

that is where the -yikes!- comes in.

so i changed the password to that gmail account.

i changed the log in password to my imac.

i backed up my iphone to my imac.

i then backed up my iphone to the apple cloud. (yeah, i bought .99 cents worth of storage.)

once the iphone icloud backup is completed. i was going to run carbon copy cloner and backup my imac's hard drive.

i was then going to separately back up my document folders, my photo folder, my music folder and my movie folder.

i might manually restore each of the folders rather than chance malware is somewhere in the backup.

i have a current list of my passwords.

when all the backups are done, i was going to reset the iphone and then restore from the icloud backup.

on the imac, i was going to do a clean install of mojave. i'm at 10.14.2

i regularly run the freeware version of malwarebytes and their scans have never found anything on the imac.

so the offending portal device is probably the iphone not the imac.

hopefully, the above efforts keeps future intrusions at bay.

as to whether this person sends a 5min vid of me, well i certainly don't want that to happen but if i got caught with my pants down while reading sports scores off espn or whatever crap they are insinuating, i'm not sure what i can do about it.

i will tell you this, it is definitely a weird feeling that eyes are on you even in the smallest room in my apartment.

oh, did i mention this is REALLY embarrassing!

any and all thoughts are appreciated.

PM me workable solutions.

rob
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Re: i have a weird web blackmail situation-yikes!
Posted by: Robert M
Date: July 10, 2019 10:39AM
Robfilms,

Get those all the time. they're garbage. Typically, if you respond your response will bounce. 'course, in the event I do respond, just for giggles, I tell the individual to go ahead and share the movies and that I'll gladly accept a share of the profits he/she receives by airing them.

Robert
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Re: i have a weird web blackmail situation-yikes!
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: July 10, 2019 10:44AM
Quote
Robert M
Robfilms,

Get those all the time. they're garbage. Typically, if you respond your response will bounce. 'course, in the event I do respond, just for giggles, I tell the individual to go ahead and share the movies and that I'll gladly accept a share of the profits he/she receives by airing them.

Robert

This. Ignore all such scams. Changing your passwords is a good idea to do every now and then in any case. As long as it's not 1234Password...
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Re: i have a weird web blackmail situation-yikes!
Posted by: mrp-admin
Date: July 10, 2019 10:53AM
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Re: i have a weird web blackmail situation-yikes!
Posted by: pdq
Date: July 10, 2019 11:00AM
F’ em. It’s a scam.

Even if it weren’t a scam, who gives a rat’s ass what you do in front of your computer or what you view, as long as it’s legal? They’re just trying to steal from you, trying to use embarrassment as a tool.
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Re: i have a weird web blackmail situation-yikes!
Posted by: space-time
Date: July 10, 2019 11:16AM
Screw them. Do not respond.

Do not take devices in the bathroom.

How the hell did they get your gmail password? Use 2FA from now on.
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Re: i have a weird web blackmail situation-yikes!
Posted by: Speedy
Date: July 10, 2019 11:31AM
Ignore them. They have nothing but your Gmail password which they could have snagged anywhere you used unsecured WiFi.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: i have a weird web blackmail situation-yikes!
Posted by: hal
Date: July 10, 2019 11:51AM
Quote
space-time
Screw them. Do not respond.

Do not take devices in the bathroom.

How the hell did they get your gmail password? Use 2FA from now on.

Likely used the gmail email address as a user name for some weak website (like this one) and used the same password for that website as he does for the gmail account. Don't do that! If that's NOT the case, I'd be a little worried.
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Re: i have a weird web blackmail situation-yikes!
Posted by: jdc
Date: July 10, 2019 12:00PM
Scam. I get them too.

2 problems. I know it’s impossible for them to access my camera and assuming they mean pRon, I have never visited a pRon site, ever.

Delete.



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: i have a weird web blackmail situation-yikes!
Posted by: robfilms
Date: July 10, 2019 12:09PM
still working on the back-ups.

grrrr...

having never employed icloud as my backup destination for the iphone, i have no idea how to find out if the backup is even complete.

the hope is after the icloud iphone backup is done, i would the erase all content and settings and reset the iphone.

i have NEVER screwed around with this stuff so aside from the chaos caused by the threat, i am nervous about disabling my iphone.

once erase and reset done, i am hoping that restoring the iphone is rather straight forward.

but i don't want to erase and restore if the icloud backup was not complete.

jeez louise, whatta mess!

rob
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Re: i have a weird web blackmail situation-yikes!
Posted by: robfilms
Date: July 10, 2019 12:12PM
jdc-

i'm not a pron guy either, but i have opened vid sites on my iphone only to discover something other site is playing in the background.

i do use the iphone to watch, youtube, vimeo, other media guys stuff from their websites and some of those websites are all over the globe, so i'm not positive what the threat is about.

that said, i have wasted time in the bathroom.

did i mention, jeez louise?

rob



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/10/2019 12:13PM by robfilms.
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Re: i have a weird web blackmail situation-yikes!
Posted by: rich in distress
Date: July 10, 2019 12:25PM
@iPhone, go to settings and click on your name at the top.
Click on iCloud (4th option), and at the bottom of the “apps using iCloud” section is iCloud backup.
Inside will be the last successful backup info.
Either that, or go to settings, pull down a little and in the resulting typing field on top, write backup.
Sign me up for the scam choir.

Edit 4 typo and this:
I would strongly encourage anyone to use apple’s keychain feature. It’s a little cumbersome to get passwords into it on iOS, easier on MacOS (wich can also generate random passwords IIRC), and much better from a security point of view to use this system native solution.
It will allow you to, among other things, to use very strong passwords that will be accessed biometrics.
2FA is everybody’s friend. I was reluctant to use it, but have found it’s transparent and reassuring once you wrap your head around it.



• back to confinement






Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/10/2019 12:38PM by rich in distress.
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Re: i have a weird web blackmail situation-yikes!
Posted by: jdc
Date: July 10, 2019 12:36PM
The "threat" is a fake.

There are no known ways to access your iPhone camera remotely incognito. And certainly no way to record your screen. That should really be the end of the discussion.

Continue on your whole backup plan if you like, but I have no idea why at this point.

As half dozen of us have already said -- its a waste of time. Scam.

And fwiw, iCloud is the *only* way we backup our phones. Turn it on and done. Never have to think about it again. New phone? restore from iCloud anywhere in the world... like you never left. Hundreds of millions of iPhone users dont own a mac, let alone any computer... how do they backup?



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: i have a weird web blackmail situation-yikes!
Posted by: rich in distress
Date: July 10, 2019 12:41PM
Get rid of this zoom app if you happen to use it.
[appleinsider.com]

Also, be aware of settings/privacy/camera. Actually, review all the options.



• back to confinement


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Re: i have a weird web blackmail situation-yikes!
Posted by: ka jowct
Date: July 10, 2019 12:42PM
These scam messages were cropping up everywhere about 6 months ago. It’s still garbage. Ignore.



My life goes smoothly and in regular intervals
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Re: i have a weird web blackmail situation-yikes!
Posted by: pinkoos
Date: July 10, 2019 12:48PM
Sorry that you already jumped through so many hoops to try and mitigate against a complete scam.

See here:

[blog.malwarebytes.com]

You could've just deleted the email and go about your day (after maybe changing your gmail password if what the scammers had was in fact your current password)



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Re: i have a weird web blackmail situation-yikes!
Posted by: robfilms
Date: July 10, 2019 01:05PM
Quote
pinkoos
Sorry that you already jumped through so many hoops to try and mitigate against a complete scam.

See here:

[blog.malwarebytes.com]

You could've just deleted the email and go about your day (after maybe changing your gmail password if what the scammers had was in fact your current password)

pinkoos-

your link contains some very good info.

thank you for the sharing.

i now have some idea, not specifically but generally, how on that particular gmail account which is linked to several video websites, there might have been some form of a data breach exposing the password to the email.

and the contents of the threat letter posted on your link, is nearly the exact email that i received.

i appreciate the forum's thoughtful and quick response to my concerns.

i have really come away with two new insights:

1-i need to up my game as to more secure passwords. i will be exploring some better options than i am currently using.

2-bring a book into the bathroom and leave the iphone to charge!

i owe everyone a beer or a coffee or something stronger.

can you hear me EXHALE?

thumbs up.

rob
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Re: i have a weird web blackmail situation-yikes!
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: July 10, 2019 01:15PM
Sorry that you already jumped through so many hoops to try and mitigate against a complete scam.

Likewise.

As has been mentioned, this is a phishing scam.

Just like all the emails saying your Chase Bank account has been hacked and suspended (and you don't even have a Chase Bank account, click HERE to verify your information, blah blah blah, you were never spied on.

It didn't happen. Hundreds if not thousands of these are sent out, and somebody somewhere has been naughty and believes they've been found out, and pays.

Low overhead scam; any reward is practically 100% profit.

I honestly thought you were kidding about jumping through the hoops until your second post.

You should change your passwords routinely, or use a very secure password and Keychain or password manager for piece of mind.

I don't know that such an attack has actually ever been carried out unless it was state sponsored. But if these perpetrators' claims were real, you'd get a clip of your 'incriminating activities' so as to leave no doubt the threat is real.

It's not.




When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

Perfection is the enemy of progress. -Winston Churchill

-An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

Mister, that's a ten-gallon hat on a twenty-gallon head.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: i have a weird web blackmail situation-yikes!
Posted by: jdc
Date: July 10, 2019 01:21PM
Quote
robfilms
2-bring a book into the bathroom and leave the iphone to charge!

rob

Why?

Im not sure where the breakdown is on this -- this event never happened. No one saw you on the loo on your iPhone. Its a scam. Fake. Not real.

And you will find me in the "waste of time" camp on running malware bytes. You know why its never found anything? Because there is nothing to find.



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: i have a weird web blackmail situation-yikes!
Posted by: Mike Sellers
Date: July 10, 2019 01:27PM
The latest one I got bumped the ransom amount from $700-800 to $2,000 but gave me 50 instead of the typical 48 hours to respond. And, they also offered two clickable links to the videos showing me doing...I dunno...something.
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Re: i have a weird web blackmail situation-yikes!
Posted by: testcase
Date: July 10, 2019 04:19PM
this_thread_is_useless_without_pics wink smiley



As others have said, IGNORE the email. It sounds like you've already done everything that you can do (with the possible exception of BLOCKING the cameras (I use a simple piece of gaffers tape). YES, it IS annoying.



I'm up to OVER TWENTY CHARACTERS on many of my passwords (which creates its' own problems).
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Re: i have a weird web blackmail situation-yikes!
Posted by: Acer
Date: July 10, 2019 08:17PM
Including an actual password, albeit an old one, is a new wrinkle of late. With all the data breaches reported daily one can't be too dismissive. Any reason to review back-up and security status is a good reason.
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Re: i have a weird web blackmail situation-yikes!
Posted by: robfilms
Date: July 10, 2019 08:24PM
Quote
Acer
Including an actual password, albeit an old one, is a new wrinkle of late. With all the data breaches reported daily one can't be too dismissive. Any reason to review back-up and security status is a good reason.

that is exactly what i have been dealing with for the past 36hrs.

i had not realized how lax my password strategy has been.

all of this was a wake-up call.

as long as the threat is just that, a threat and nothing more, then i am willing to chalk all of my anxiety up to being schooled.

though everyone has yelled BS, i'll still keep my head low, change my passwords, back-up the hard drives, and maybe even erase and reset and then backup from the cloud my iphone.

thumbs up.

rob
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Re: i have a weird web blackmail situation-yikes!
Posted by: jdc
Date: July 10, 2019 08:58PM
Quote
robfilms
i had not realized how lax my password strategy has been.

Its most likely not your fault.

It possibly some site you logged into with gmail where they got the info from. Really Woudlnt have mattered what your PW was.

And remember:





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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: i have a weird web blackmail situation-yikes!
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: July 10, 2019 09:08PM
I track my passwords in 1Password.

I get those extortion phishing emails every few days.

Last one came to a Comcast address and claimed to have my password for that account. It did... A password that I changed over a decade ago.

Comcast has had quite a few breaches.
[duckduckgo.com]

Check to see where your accounts have been compromised:
[haveibeenpwned.com]



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