What is extortion?
Extortion is defined as: “the crime of obtaining something from someone, especially money, by using force or threats.” Recently there has been a wave of hackers extorting people, often bluffing – but not always.
An example of digital extortion:
People often use the same password on multiple websites. Although your bank’s website may be secure, a small website you made an account on could be vulnerable. A malicious hacker might compromise this site, drawing a list of e-mail addresses and passwords. That hacker then sends an email to each of them saying “I know your password is [password] and I will release all of your private data to the public if you do not send money to this account.” This hacker will also attempt to use that e-mail/password combination on various sensitive accounts (e.g. online banks, Facebook, GMail etc.)
How to defend yourself:
Keep multiple passwords. Change them regularly. Have one very secure password that is only used on important and sensitive accounts such as your online banking account. You can find out if a site you have an account with has been compromised by entering your e-mail address into www.haveibeenpwned.com
Note: HaveIBeenPwned will not find every website you have made an account with. You cannot safely assume you have not been compromised regardless of what it says.
How to contact us for assistance:
If you are worried about these attacks or have been a victim of them, contact us through one of the following:
If we have set up your e-mail, you can rest assured that we have set up a randomly generated and secure password for your work e-mail that has only ever been used on secure platforms. However, if you have used that password elsewhere since we gave it to you, your company may be vulnerable. Also, even if they do have your password, there is a low chance they have actually gained access to the files stored on your computer (unless they are synchronized with a Cloud Provider and/or you have run files from the cloud that may now be infected with a virus).