Extortion in an Online World

While I’ve been tracking ransomware and (D)DoS issues for a while – well, for most of my career in security, to be strictly accurate – I’ve paid less attention to blackmail, though I guess it’s related in so far as it is another form of extortion. I hadn’t particularly noticed the stories about blackmail attempts against users of the Ashley Madison extra-marital dating site, but it seems to be developing in interesting ways, as discussed in a post by Graham Cluley: Now it’s Ashley Madison wives who are receiving blackmail letters.

If nothing else, it’s an interesting reflection on how old-school crime is attempting to adapt to the online world, albeit with variable success. But perhaps the most striking aspect of this particular story is the way in which the extortionist seems happy (in a desperate sort of way) to compound the misery of the spouses who are presumably the original victims of extra-marital footsie. No spurious claims to the moral high ground here, then.

I think I may feel a paper coming on.

David Harley 

 

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