It has been brought to our attention that a strong spam campaign known as “I’m a programmer who cracked your email” is being used by cybercriminals around Australia. The scammers are making threats and ransom demands of their targets. This article will shed light on this highly distributed email scam and show you how to can get rid of it.
Title: possible malware infections
Damage level: High
Email scams have been happening since the beginning of emails it’s self and generally, especially in 2018, these tactics have not been effective even to the most amateur of users because of how ridiculous they sound – asking you to put money in a bit wallet or else they will enter your computer and take all the information or they will state that they already have your information and give you a slight hint that generally isn’t true but the hint might be close enough that the target gets scared and gives in. This particular scam is very unique and frightening, as the secret to its current success is that it gives user’s real password in the subject line of the email and it’s extremely accurate.
Do these hackers actually have your login data? is this real? Should you pay?
Internet forums, like Redditor Whirpool.net, have been buzzing for a couple days now from the commotion of the ‘I’m a programmer who cracked your email’ scam. there are hundreds of people looking for answers and sharing their experiences some confused as the email comes from their own username and details their actual password, or previous password, in the subject line of the email.
What does the email say exactly?
There is nothing drastically new around the internal contents of the email when it comes to spam campaigns, “I’m a programmer who cracked your email”, shows cybercriminals making threats and ransom demands. The email claims that these attackers “cracked” your email account and devices “about half a year ago”, they claim that “you entered a password on one of the insecure site you visited, and I catched it”, they go on to claim that it doesn’t matter if you change your password as they implemented their “Rat Software” which puts malicious code to your operating systems.
The email goes on to say that it’s not only your information that they have access, they claim to have saved all of your contacts with friends, colleagues, relatives and a complete history of websites that you’ve visited. Not only that they go on to say that “When you had fun on intime sites (you know what I mean!) I made a screenshot with using my program from your camera of your device. After that, I jointed them to the content of the currently viewed site.” they go onto say; “will be funny when I send these photos to your contacts! And if your relatives see it? BUT I’m sure you don’t want it.”. As you can see, the email has terrible grammar and miss spellings which automatically points to a scam.
Here is the full email we have extracted:
Usually, when there is a rapidly increased number of people that come out in forum sites like this, it means that the email has been sent to thousands of people. As you can see the attackers are after a ransom of $870 in Bitcoins, otherwise, they are claiming that photos of you being on pornographic websites will be sent to your relatives, your friends, your colleagues and others in your contacts list. The deadline is 48hours and if you don’t meet the demands they will also lock your computer.
Is this real, what do I do???
The email is real, however, the claims are not real. These hackers have not infiltrated/hacked your computer, they do not have screenshots of you or your web browsing history nor can they access your device’s camera. The most important thing is for you to ignore this email and DO NOT send them any money.
If you have not changed your passwords for over 2 years, please do so. Also look to have different levels of passwords across Banking, Social, email and other areas – Never use one password across all accounts as this will leave you extremely vulnerable to attacks.
Then how do they have my name and password???
Website breaches are a common thing, this is why we ask all of our clients to constantly change their passwords and by no means have their banking password the same as any other passwords. The most likely scenario is the Facebook/Linkedin/Google+ breaches, you may already know about the public facebook Cambridge Analytica breach, however, you may not be too familiar with the Linkedin or Google+ breach that saw Google actually close down their Google+ platform last week. With these major compromises, there has been a lot of accounts that have been breached and the credentials even pasted in dark web forums for other hackers to take advantage of.
We recommend you go to haveibeenpwnedand type in your email address – this website checks if your email has been breached and will also tell you if your information has been pasted on the dark web for other hackers to exploit.
How do I avoid malicious hackers?
Scenario: You’ve received an email from an unknown source or in this case form your own email address.
Do not open without carefully analysing the email first. Do not click any links, only download software from trustworthy or official sources never from 3rd party installers as these installers generally get a payback by installing other application along with the application that you are trying to download, this is known as a bundling method.
Research the email header or content before replying or taking any action.
All of our clients are protected, if you require assistance please contact us as soon as possible.
Text within’ “I’m a programmer who cracked your email” scam:
I’m a programmer who cracked your email account and device about half year ago.
You entered a password on one of the insecure site you visited, and I catched it.
Your password from *****@******.com.au on moment of crack: ******
Of course you can will change your password, or already made it.
But it doesn’t matter, my rat software update it every time.
Please don’t try to contact me or find me, it is impossible, since I sent you an email from your email account.
Through your e-mail, I uploaded malicious code to your Operation System.
I saved all of your contacts with friends, colleagues, relatives and a complete history of visits to the Internet resources.
Also I installed a rat software on your device and long tome spying for you.
You are not my only victim, I usually lock devices and ask for a ransom.
But I was struck by the sites of intimate content that you very often visit.
I am in shock of your reach fantasies! Wow! I’ve never seen anything like this!
I did not even know that SUCH content could be so exciting!
So, when you had fun on intime sites (you know what I mean!) I made screenshot with using my program from your camera of yours device.
After that, I jointed them to the content of the currently viewed site.
Will be funny when I send these photos to your contacts! And if your relatives see it?
BUT I’m sure you don’t want it. I definitely would not want to …
I will not do this if you pay me a little amount.
I think $893 is a nice price for it!
I accept only Bitcoins.
My BTC wallet: 1PL9ewB1y3iC7EyuePDoPxJjwC4CgAvWTo
If you have difficulty with this – Ask Google “how to make a payment on a bitcoin wallet”. It’s easy.
After receiving the above amount, all your data will be immediately removed automatically.
My virus will also will be destroy itself from your operating system.
My Trojan have auto alert, after this email is looked, I will be know it!
You have 2 days (48 hours) for make a payment.
If this does not happen – all your contacts will get crazy shots with your dirty life!
And so that you do not obstruct me, your device will be locked (also after 48 hours)
Do not take this frivolously! This is the last warning!
Various security services or antiviruses won’t help you for sure (I have already collected all your data).
Here are the recommendations of a professional:
Antiviruses do not help against modern malicious code. Just do not enter your passwords on unsafe sites!
I hope you will be prudent.
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