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Furthermore, if the actors did indeed possess personal details of the recipients, it seems likely they would have included elements (e.g.name, address, or date of birth) in more targeted threat emails in order to increase their credibility.In light of this trend, we have observed an email campaign that claims to have stolen sensitive information from recipients and demands 320 USD payment in Bitcoin.Below is an example of one of the emails used: The campaign is active as of this writing.I am registered with one site and I get mail from ladies left and right but, really makes me wonder as some of them seem just too unreal..(I would like to explain more but, its little bit difficult)Hi there guy I must say i am aware that also as i have been charting with the lady in china also I have been writhing to a lady in china also but when she said she did not have internet i thought hay what in the hell ??While there are some legitimate dating sites it is illegal in China for the agency to broker a marriage to a foreigner.
While no threat can be completely discounted, the compromise of personal information for this many individuals would constitute a significant breach of one or more websites yet no activity of this nature has been reported or identified in recent weeks.
Cyber-blackmail continues to prove itself an effective tactic for cybercriminals to cash out on their malicious operations.
In this case, it appears that a threat actor group originally involved in adult dating scams have expanded their operations to cyber extortion campaigns as a result of this trend.
Meanwhile, we have observed that company emails of individuals were specifically targeted.
This would have added additional pressure to would-be victims since it implies that a recipient’s work PC was infected and may therefore taint one’s professional image.