Unsafe Sex with Your Webcam

Read about how this scam affects Mac users and how to practice safe net sex at the Mac Security Blog

It’s only the second week of the month, but I feel we already have a winner for October’s spam contest. Not only is it semi-literate, its author kindly apologizes for the broken English, but then goes on to kindly request 850 euro be deposited in his or her bitcoin account. Even if I had euros I wouldn’t know how to do that. Should I go to my bank with cash, ask for it in euros and tell them to change them into bitcoins? I’ve never had any bitcoins; have no idea what they even look like.

The message ostensibly came from a user named Janine at a tax consultancy, but Janine’s address may have been spoofed. To preserve my privacy, I’ve changed my address to “whomever,” but the actual address my extortionist sent this to is a mailbox I dedicate to receiving mailings from adobe.com that has only been used by them, up until now. See, way back in 2013 hackers purloined data for some 8 million credit card and 30 million email addresses from Adobe. The info was most likely put up for auction on the Dark Web. It took five years for that s!*t to hit the fan, but that’s not unusual. Yet another reason not to do business with those price-gouging bloodsuckers, but I digress.

Anyway, when I copied and pasted the message, my spellchecker went crazy, flagging dozens of simple words that looked correct to me. Turns out there was more to the message than met the eye. As an example, here is the plaintext for the first line:

D=D0=BE not mind =D0=BEn my illit=D0=B5r=D0=B0=D1=81y, I am fr=D0=BEm Chi=na.

The entire message was full of junk like this that didn’t display—looking like code that was being injected into my email reader. So the real purpose of hitting on me, perhaps, wasn’t money; it was most likely to compromise my computer, possibly by turning it into a bot under the spammer’s control.

Before I present the charming message (minus the junk) I want you to know one thing: They clearly have the wrong guy. I would never ever masturbate to Web porn without first having obscured my webcam’s lens. I learned of the dangers of unprotected sex the hard way in my twenties, but let’s not get into that now. Here is Janine’s message:

--------- Original Message ----------
From: <Janine@somewhere.com>
To: whomever
Date: October 6, 2018 at 6:52 PM
Subject: Your life is in your hands

Dо not mind оn my illiteracy, I am frоm China.
This is my last warning.

I uрlоаded the mаliсiоus рrоgram on your system.
Since that mоmеnt I рilfеrеd аll privy bасkgrоund frоm yоur system. Аdditiоnаlly I hаve sоme more соmрromising evidence. Thе mоst intеrеsting еvidеnсе that I stоlе- its а videotape with yоur masturbation. I аdjusted virus оn a pоrn web sitе аnd аftеr yоu loadеd it. When yоu dесidеd with the video аnd tарped on a рlаy buttоn, my dеlеtеriоus sоft at оnсе sеt up on yоur system. Аftеr аdjusting, yоur саmеra shoot the videotape with yоu sеlf-abusing, in аddition it saved рreсisеly the роrn video yоu mаsturbаtеd оn. In nеxt fеw dаys my mаlwаrе collесtеd аll your soсiаl аnd wоrk соntacts.

If you want tо delete the records- pаy mе 850 еurо in BTC (cryрtосurrenсy).
I рrоvide yоu my Btc number - 14FWQ7WSHNFqLzQJvVRcuWyzNK3gu93yad
Yоu hаve 24 hоurs аftеr reading. When I get transfer I will destroy the videotape evermore.
Other wаy I will sеnd the tарe tо all yоur сollеaguеs and friends.

And to my immense relief, it turns out I’m not alone! According to the Nexus Security Consultancy’s blog,  very similar propositions have been received by users from forged addresses by spammers claiming to be from India, Belgium, Denmark, Iran, Romania, Japan, or simply “foreign” over the past few months. Must be a lot of wankers out there.

So be warned. Don’t let what happened to Janine and me happen to you. Read more about how to keep your Internet sex private here.

Achieving peace of mind should be easy. Simply tape over or otherwise obscure your computer’s camera when you don’t need it. Takes 10 seconds and it’s free.

Author: admin

I'm an ex-this-and-that, including software developer, computer graphics researcher, geospatial analyst, market manager, and technical writer, who now writes full-time when not reading, running a household, foraging for edible mushrooms, pushing progressive politics, or volunteering fsomewhere. I live near Boston with my wife, daughter, two cats and two old cars.