So I received this in my inbox today from a man named Sigfried Ruyle <[email protected]>.
“I am aware XXXXXXXXXX is your passphrases. Lets get straight to the purpose. Nobody has paid me to check you. You may not know me and you’re probably thinking why you’re getting this e-mail?
Well, i actually installed a software on the adult videos (pornographic material) site and guess what, you visited this website to experience fun (you know what i mean). While you were viewing video clips, your internet browser started functioning as a RDP that has a key logger which provided me accessibility to your display and cam. Right after that, my software gathered all your contacts from your Messenger, social networks, and email . Next i created a double video. First part shows the video you were viewing (you’ve got a good taste hehe), and 2nd part shows the recording of your web cam, yea it is you.
You actually have 2 options. Shall we review these types of solutions in particulars:
First solution is to neglect this email. in this situation, i am going to send out your very own video to every one of your contacts and you can easily imagine about the disgrace you feel. or in case you are in a loving relationship, just how it can affect?
Second solution will be to compensate me USD 976. i will name it as a donation. in this case, i will instantaneously remove your video. You will continue your way of life like this never happened and you never will hear back again from me.
You will make the payment through Bitcoin (if you do not know this, search ‘how to buy bitcoin’ in Google).
BTC address to send to: 1JPYCP99bYSc1yrn9fb5dDecXrxej2jgKV
[CaSe-sensitive copy and paste it]
if you have been thinking of going to the law enforcement officials, surely, this email message can not be traced back to me. I have taken care of my steps. i am also not trying to charge a fee a huge amount, i simply prefer to be compensated. You now have two days to pay. i’ve a unique pixel in this e mail, and right now i know that you have read this e-mail. if i do not receive the BitCoins, i will send your video to all of your contacts including members of your family, co-workers, and so on. However, if i do get paid, i’ll destroy the video right away. it’s a non:negotiable offer, so do not waste mine time and yours by responding to this email. if you want evidence, reply with Yes! & i will certainly send out your video to your 13 friends.”
This, my friends, is called sextortion. I don’t know who coined it… but #genius .
What did I do? Wrote a blog article of course.
Look, whether or not its real, I’m not paying Sigfried Ruyle jack-shit. I use 1Password, and generate most passwords I use. But what really offended me was the 13 friend thing. What an a-hole. I have way more than 13 friends. Rude.
So, what steps did I take?
- First, I opened my password manager and scanned it for passwords I have stored there. I figured there were none, as its a password I have not used for years and I was correct, there were none. 1Password did tell me however that it was a password that was known to have been compromised.
- Opened Chrome, and went through all of the passwords stored there. Probably more than I wanted to admit, but I went thru them, deleted some accounts, changed passwords on others, and moved on with my day. It was a good feeling to go through and clean it out. I try to do digital housekeeping at the beginning of the year anyway. It was on my radar.
Held back the ginormous urge to reply and dirty ear beat the jerk into oblivion. I refrained. Why? because I know what tracking looks like on the back-end of an email. That is something I don’t care to think about.
Surfed the web to see what I could find about this particular email, and found I was not alone. Ugh.
Looked to see if what he claimed could actually be done: RDP my web cam and all that. It can be, which I knew. And putting tape over the camera is a good thing to do when not in use, which I don’t do. I do however sit behind 2 firewalls and use a lovely program called HideMyAss. Why would I use that? Well I do web work. A lot of web work. Sometimes I have to jump outside my own network to see what someone, say in California, sees for a particular website rendering.
What should you do? Listen. Its important that YOU take responsibility for YOUR interweb devices. Protect them. Get on LifeLock (I have been a member for years), use a password manager like 1Password and for the love of God don’t message me if you lose your secret key. If you are not taking steps to be safe, you should not be on the web. Its just as simple as that.
Let’s talk about the Dark Web. This is probably one of the MOST profitable phrases of all time. It instills instant fear. The hard truth is, your info is out there. If you have a bank account, its out there. Whether you have a computer or not. YOUR LIFE IS ONLINE. Maybe not to the degree that some others are, but its online. Have you been to the doctor? Subscribed to a newspaper? Done business at a store that asks for email? YOUR SHIT IS OUT THERE. You can’t stop it. It’s a modern plight and we have to deal with it. Rather than point fingers, protect yourself.
There is no such place as the dark web. There are only bad people doing shady shit on the web. But the dark web is not actually a thing.
For the record, I did not fix his typos. How you see it is how I received it. Please don’t email me with corrections.
If you’re ever interested in getting more web savvy, hit me up for a code to use to save some money on a CyberSafe class that is, you guessed it, online. It helps to know why surfing the web in a coffee shop, or other public areas is probably a bad idea… why using the same password redundantly is a super bad idea, and other little tidbits of precious knowledge.
Okay, my rant is over. I feel better. And Sigmund, I hope where ever you are, all bad things are headed your way. Karma is a bitch buddy. The universe will catch up with you.