Software engineer who hacked into your device’s OS – Email Scam

Exercise extreme caution if you receive an email that starts with “Software engineer who hacked into your device’s OS” as it is often used in a recent sextortion email campaign.

This email is a form of sextortion orchestrated by cybercriminals and internet fraudsters, and it’s vital to understand their tactics to protect yourself.

In these emails, scammers typically claim to possess sensitive information about the recipient and threaten to expose it to the recipient’s coworkers, family, relatives, and others unless a specific amount of money is paid.

Their primary objective is to create fear and pressure you into complying with their demands, which usually involve sending Bitcoin to a specified address.

It’s crucial to realize that these scammers often send these emails to thousands of recipients and do not specifically target you.

Important Note: Any information they claim to have, such as a few passwords or your desktop name, likely came from a previously leaked database rather than from any supposed “malware” they installed to track you.

In any case, it is imperative not to pay the requested amount and to completely disregard these blackmail emails. Stay vigilant and refrain from engaging with such emails to protect yourself from potential scams.

Image of the email:

Software engineer who hacked into your device's OS Scam

Transcript of the email in text:

i’m the software engineer who hacked into your device’s oS.

I’ve been watching you for weeks now.
The aspect is, you’ve been infected with malware through the adult website you visited.

if you’re not familiar with it, i’ll explain.
The Trojan virus gives me full access and control over your computer or any other device on your network.
it means that i can see everything on your screen, turn on my camera and microphone, but you do not know about it.

ì also have access to all your contacts, social networking data and all your email contacts.

Why didn’t your antivirus detect any malware? a: My malware uses a driver, i update its signatures every 4 hours to keep your antivirus silent.
ì have made a recording showing how you satisfy yourself on the left side of the screen, and on the right side you see the video you’ve got watching.
With one click, i can send this video to all your contacts within the email and social networks. i can also distribute access to all your emails and messaging apps that you use.

if you want to prevent this, then:
Transfer 0.5 BTC to my bitcoin wallet (in case you do not know how to do it, then type in to Google: “Purchase a bitcoin”).

My Bitcoin Wallet:

After getting the payment, i will erase the video and you won’t hear from me again.
i will give you 50 hours (more than two days) to pay.
i have a notice that you read this email and the timer started you opened it.

Do not try to answer me. It does not make any sense (the sender’s address is created by random).
Filing a complaint somewhere doesn’t make sense, because this email cannot be tracked, and neither can my bitcoin address.
ì don’t make mistakes.

in case i find that you shared this message with somebody else, the video will be distributed immediately.
Good luck with that.

How to protect yourself against these emails

Not falling for scams is crucial. But understanding how to safeguard yourself matters even more.

If you’ve unintentionally clicked a link or interacted with scammers, what’s your next move? Safeguarding your personal data and finances should be your utmost concern.

It is our mission to protect and inform users of the dangers of the internet. This is why below, we’ve gathered steps and methods that will help you when encountering malicious emails.

Enable two-factor authentication on all accounts

Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra security layer to logins by requiring additional verification steps especially when accessing an account from a new device.

Think of it like entering a bar: first, one bouncer lets you in, and then another bouncer inside asks for more information before granting access.

Similarly, 2FA ensures that even if someone gets your login details, they can’t access your account without an extra verification step.

Using two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security. The platform usually asks for a verification code sent to your phone. Some platforms even let you use biometrics like facial recognition or fingerprint scans for added safety.

2FA is crucial for all accounts, safeguarding your identity and preventing unauthorized access, regardless of the account’s contents. Your account represents you, and it’s vital to keep strangers out. Only the true owner should have access, proven during login.

Two-factor authentication isn’t just for new device logins; it’s also used in situations requiring confirmation of the account owner’s actions. To enable 2FA, check the Settings section of the platform or website you’re using.

Use an antivirus program for better protection

While built-in systems like Windows Defender and Mac system software can block a lot of malware, they cannot detect all online threats. This is important because malicious emails often carry malicious attachments that pose as documents or files.

When executed, these attachments load malware onto your computer. Malware attacks are concerning as they put both your logged-in data and saved login information at risk, along with important files.

Although Windows Defender is strong, its creator, Microsoft does not solely focus on antivirus and overall cybersecurity. Especially in the case of serious malware attacks triggered by email attachments, dedicated malware-detecting software is essential.

While some argue that Windows Defender combined with common sense is enough to protect against malware, it’s important to recognize that not everyone is tech-savvy. Every user has important accounts requiring protection, regardless of their level of expertise.

A variety of antivirus programs are available, giving you options to choose what suits you best. Some are great at scanning, use fewer hardware resources, or excel at removing malware effectively. Research to find the antivirus that matches your daily computer needs.

Choosing the best antivirus can be intricate due to diverse user needs and ongoing debates. We’re not taking sides here; your choice matters most based on how you use your device.

Think before you click

It’s a common piece of advice, but it’s worth emphasizing: take a moment to think before acting. Whether you believe it or not, this simple pause can save you from potential harm.

Your instincts play a crucial role in your online safety. They might raise red flags when you encounter certain emails or attachments.

If you have a gut feeling that something’s not right, trust that instinct and give yourself a brief pause. This extra step can be the barrier between falling for a scam and protecting your information.

The consequences of clicking on suspicious links can be severe. Malicious software, often hidden in the background, can infiltrate your system and compromise your security.

What seems like a harmless click can lead to personal data breaches, financial loss, or even the control of your device by hackers.

Report the scam to prevent others from falling victim

The most important step now is reporting the scam. You’ve done well by avoiding the scam through your research and finding this information.

Remember, the next person might not be so lucky and could end up being a victim. This could result in significant financial loss and a long recovery process. You can prevent this by reporting the scam.

Your actions can protect others from falling into these traps. Reporting the scam might seem small, but it has a big impact.

When you report the scam, you help authorities track down the people behind these fraudulent emails. We’ve put together a list of where to report online scams, including organizations from different countries dedicated to fighting these frauds.

To make your report more effective, give the authorities complete details of the scam you have encountered. Share everything you know about it with the appropriate authorities and let them act on it.

Bottom Line

Now that you’re informed about the “Software engineer who hacked into your device’s os” scam and malicious emails in general, remember to steer clear of suspicious messages and report them to authorities.

Doing this can help stop scams in their tracks, and these online fraudsters will be discouraged from making these deceptive emails. Byte-Size Onion wishes you a safe online experience and a great day ahead.

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