Check Point Researchers Discover Email Vulnerability Which Can Lead To Sextortion

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Researchers at Check Point have recently released a research note in which the researchers have disclosed the email vulnerability and how people are getting sextortion emails. In case if you don't know sextortion is when a person receives an email that demands blackmail payment threatening to expose sexual content captured usually via their webcam.

Check Point Researchers Discover Email Vulnerability

 

Through a five-month research project, Check Point researchers exposed a very large malware that is using its infected victims to unknowingly send sextortion emails to the masses in a machine-like manner. The sheer speed and volume of emails being generated are staggering.

According to the report, people unknowingly send sextortion emails to 27 million others. Check Point researchers expose botnet using everyday people to unknowingly send 30,000 sextortion emails per hour. Some of the key highlights of the research are the following:

  • You may be one of those everyday people being taken advantage of as a threat vector
  • Botnet circumvents Gmail, Outlook or anything that leaves traces
  • Leaked passwords used in conjunction with email addresses to intimidate innocent recipients
  • Bitcoin wallets used to collect revenue
  • Phorpiex (aka Trik) botnet has been active for almost a decade and currently operates more than 450,000 infected hosts
  • In the 5 months, period Check Point researchers have monitored this operation and noted the transfers of more than 11 BTC to the wallets of Phorpiex sextortion - currently over $110,000
  • The spam bot can produce a large number of spam emails - up to 30,000 per hour
  • Each spam campaign can cover up to 27 million potential victims

According to the FBI IC3 (Internet Crime Complaint Center) reports there is a rise of 242% in extortion emails. These emails are majorly sextortion emails, with total losses of $83 million in reported crimes.

Here is an example of Sextortion email created by Phorpiex Spam Bot:

Check Point Researchers Discover Email Vulnerability

 
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