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What Is Sextortion? Tips To Recognize It, And React Properly

Sextortion victim

Sextortion is a type of attack that belongs to the big ransomware family. As you might know, this means that hackers use their knowledge and skills to breach your devices. Then, they encrypt your files, and ask for a ransom, to unlock them.

But, of course, paying the ransom does not necessarily mean that the victims regain control of their data. When the sexual threat comes on top of that, things get even more complicated.

What is sextortion?

The first part of this ransomware attack goes quite as we know it. Hackers manage to break into their victims’ computers. Then, they lure their victims with sexual themes and even send explicit photos or videos. Most of the time, these are fakes.

Then, they ask their victims to do the same. If they fall into this trap, hackers start

But at this moment, they use sexual threats. They tell the affected users that they would send sexual pictures or videos to friends and family. In order to prevent this from happening, they should pay a ransom, in Bitcoin.

In order to be more credible, hackers show a password they managed to steal from their victims, or even a picture or a video of those.

Then, the attackers try to convince their victims send intimate images or videos of themselves. If the victims do this, hackers will use these to blackmail them, for money. Usually, they ask the money to be sent as crypto, via PayPal, Wester Union, or other such channels.

Young people may easily become victims, as they are tricked to believe they communicate with someone their age, interested in a relationship. For, this, parents’ role is extremely important, as they should openly discuss about online safety with their kids.

Learn how to act properly

Unlike other types of attacks, there are not too many things for users to do, in order to prevent sextortion attacks. Still, good and consistent online hygiene is the best way to act.

So, choose unique usernames and passwords for each of the websites and apps that you download on your device. You can learn from here how to choose a safe password.

Once you do this, hackers would have less chances to break into your device and steal passwords, personal images, or videos.

Also, whenever you might receive an email from any service provider that a data breach affected your account, immediately change your password. Also enable use multi-factor authentication, when this option is available. Never send anything to the attackers, and let the authorities know that someone is trying to blackmail you.

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