More news on the cybersecurity front, especially for anyone holding Litecoin (LTC). New research from Cofense, according to Cointelegraph, reveals that LTC and other altcoins are “becoming increasingly prevalent among crypto “sextortionists” since they allow to avoid detection more easily.”
What is ‘sextortion’?
Sextortionists operate by claiming that they have installed “some kind of spying malware on potential victims’ devices and gained access to allegedly compromising browsing history and webcam footage.” They also threaten to share this information with friends, family and employers. As you can imagine, this does scare many people.
Previously, the scammers usually asked for Bitcoin, but are moving away from it in order to avoid detection by specialised email filters that might identify them.
Email filters protect users
The Cofense report says, “As enterprises began writing detection rules to block those emails, threat actors modified the text by replacing it with an image, which prevented key words from being identified by Secure Email Gateways (SEGs). The bitcoin address was left as a plain text string in the email, so it could be easily copied.”
Furthermore, the scammers got access to recipients’ emails, usually from password breach lists, which sometimes include passwords to lend authenticity.
However, contemporary email filters are forcing scammers to search for other means of ransom delivery, Cofense reports, and this has led them to Litecoin and other altcoins. The report says, “This latest sextortion version is using a Litecoin wallet address instead of bitcoin to evade detection. Previous iterations showed a gradual shift away from identifiable patterns and to alternative crypto currencies, in an attempt to foil SEG bitcoin-detection rules. The current emails appear to be crafted to contain very few searchable word patterns.”
It is worth noting that Cofense states that in most cases users can safely ignore ransom and phishing emails, saying “if threat actors actually had such access and data, they would include stronger proof.”