Most spam is annoying, but harmless. Unless of course it’s the basis of a sextortion scam. If you’re not familiar, sextortion is a form of sexual exploitation that employs non-physical forms of coercion to extort money or sexual favors from the victim. For instance, if someone threatens that they can blame you for child pornography and will do so unless you pay them a ransom, that’s a form of sextortion.
Just the threat of such a divulgence could get some unsuspecting victims to pay up. That’s why spammers try so hard to get sextortion spam in your inbox. Fortunately, most spam filters are pretty good and run-of-the-mill spam is not likely to get through, especially if it’s a sextortion email. Unfortunately, scammers never stop evolving and have just come up with a new trick to bypass most spam filters with a sextortion email.
According to Bleeping Computer, “To bypass these filters, attackers have started to utilize new tactics such as sending sextortion emails in foreign languages and splitting bitcoin addresses into two parts.” Spam filters know to look for the telltale signs of spam like the word “sex” or a bitcoin address in an email. “Adding these two tactics make it more difficult for the recipient to understand what they are receiving.” And more difficult for spam filters to filter it out. Pretty clever.
So, what should you do if you receive one of these sextortion spam emails? For starters, don’t pay it! According to the article, “The scammers did not hack your computer, install malware that records you while on adult sites, and you should not send any payments to the enclosed bitcoin address.”
Of course, the best case scenario is to keep “clever” spam like that out of your inbox in the first place. That’s not always possible with an off-the-shelf consumer-grade spam filter. To be able to block sophisticated spam like this requires true enterprise-grade spam filtering like that available from DuoCircle.
Cloud-based spam filtering from Duocircle includes malicious attachment blocking, whitelisting/blacklisting, custom filtering rules and Smart Quarantine. In short, everything you need to stay safe from whatever the spammers come up with next.
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