What is "Sextortion Email (Dash)"?
Criminals behind this scam attempt to trick recipients into transferring Dash cryptocurrency to them. They state that they have recorded a compromising video and will distribute it to other people unless recipients pay a specific cryptocurrency sum. Never trust emails of this type and simply ignore them.
According to this sextortion email, the recipient's computer was infected with a malicious Remote Access Tool/Trojan (RAT), software that allows access and control of computers remotely. This tool was apparently used to steal all account details and record 'a video'.
It is stated that the installed RAT was used to record a video of the recipient whilst watching a video on an adult website. Scammers threaten to send this video to all of the recipient's contacts, post it on social networks, and publish it on various websites, including the dark web.
To prevent this, recipients are asked to pay a ransom of $1200 using the Dash cryptocurrency. This email contains a wallet address to make the transaction. Scammers demand payment within two days. These emails can never be trusted - criminals send them to many users and hope that at least some people will fall for the scam.
We receive a great deal of feedback from concerned users about this type of email scam. Here is the most popular question we receive (in this case, relating to a scam that claims to have obtained compromising videos or photos of the user):
Q: Hi pcrisk.com team, I received an email stating that my computer was hacked and they have a video of me. Now they are asking for a ransom in Bitcoins. I think this must be true because they listed my real name and password in the email. What should I do?
A: Do not worry about this email. Neither hackers nor cyber criminals have infiltrated/hacked your computer and there is no video of you watching pornography. Simply ignore the message and do not send any Bitcoins. Your email, name, and password was probably stolen from a compromised website such as Yahoo (these website breaches are common). If you are concerned, you can check if your accounts have been compromised by visiting the haveibeenpwned website.
|Name||"Sextortion Email (Dash)" scam|
|Threat Type||Phishing, Scam, Social Engineering, Fraud.|
|Fake Claim||Scammers claim that they have infected the computer with a RAT, which allowed them to record a humiliating video. They threaten to distribute the video unless they are paid within two days.|
|Ransom Size||$1200 in Dash cryptocurrency|
|Cyber Criminal Cryptowallet Address||XjpNCkdGBSS93Hh5tf5xHZ85ZGBN7AQdnA|
|Symptoms||Unauthorized online purchases, changed online account passwords, identity theft, illegal access of the computer.|
|Distribution methods||Deceptive emails, rogue online pop-up ads, search engine poisoning techniques, misspelled domains.|
|Damage||Loss of sensitive private information, monetary loss, identity theft.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
More examples of similar emails are "Sextortion Email (Monero)", "Your device was infected with my private malware", and "ChaosCC hacker group". In any case, emails of this type are used to extort money from unsuspecting recipients.
Typically, scammers claim that they have recorded humiliating videos or taken photos and will proliferate them unless recipients send the money. Cyber criminals also use these emails to proliferate malicious programs. They attach files that, if opened, install programs such as TrickBot, Hancitor, Emotet, and FormBook (or other high-risk malware).
How do spam campaigns infect computers?
Attached files or website links that lead to download of malicious files can only cause damage if they are opened. I.e., computers often become infected when recipients execute (open) received/downloaded files.
For example, computers become infected through MS Office documents when recipients open them and enable editing (macro commands). Once permission to enable macros commands is given, the malicious document starts the malware installation process.
How to avoid installation of malware
Do not open web links or attachments, when presented in irrelevant emails that are received from unknown, suspicious addresses. Software should be downloaded through official, trustworthy websites.
Third party downloaders/installers, unofficial sites, Peer-to-Peer networks such as torrent clients, eMule, and other similar download or installation channels can also be used to distribute unwanted and/or malicious software. Keep installed software up-to-date, however, use implemented functions or tools provided by official developers.
Paid, licensed software should not be activated with 'cracking' tools. These are illegal and might cause installation of malicious programs. Use Microsoft Office 2010 or later, since these versions include "Protected View" mode, which prevents malicious files from installing malware.
You computer is safer if protected by reputable anti-virus or anti-spyware software. Scan your system with this software regularly. If you have already opened malicious attachments, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate infiltrated malware.
Text presented in the "Sextortion Email (Dash)" email message:
Hi, this email has been sent from your email account, check the From: field!
Your computer was infected with my malware, RAT (Remote Administration Tool), your browser wasn't updated / patched, in such case it's enough to just visit some website where my iframe is placed to get automatically infected, if you want to find out more - Google: "Drive-by exploit".
My malware gave me full access and control over your computer, meaning, I got access to all your accounts, that's how this email has been sent, it was possible to see everything on your screen, turn on your camera or microphone and you wouldn't even notice about it.
I collected all your private data and I RECORDED YOU (through your webcam) SATISFYING YOURSELF!
After that I removed my malware to not leave any traces.
I can send the video to all your contacts, post it on social network, publish it on the whole web, including the darknet, where the sick people are, I can publish all I found on your computer everywhere!
Only you can prevent me from doing this and only I can help you out in this situation.
Transfer exactly 1200$ with the cryptocurrency DASH (DSH) to my DASH (DSH) address.
It's a very good offer, compared to all that horrible **** that will happen if I publish everything!
Buy DASH (DSH) here: www.cex.io , www.binance.com , www.bitpanda.com , or Google for other exchanger.
Send the DASH (DSH) directly to my address, or download and install your hardware wallet EXODUS first from: www.exodus.io , or create your online wallet first here: www.cryptonator.com , www.freewallet.org and then send to mine.
My DASH (DSH) address is: XjpNCkdGBSS93Hh5tf5xHZ85ZGBN7AQdnA
Copy and paste my address, it's (cAsE-sEnSEtiVE).
I give you 2 days to transfer the DASH (DSH).
As I got access to this email account, I will know if this email has already been read.
If you get this email multiple times, it's to make sure you read it and after payment you can ignore it!
After receiving the payment, I will remove everything and you can life your live in peace like before.
Next time update your browser before browsing the web!
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is Sextortion Email (Dash) spam?
- Types of malicious emails.
- How to spot a malicious email?
- What to do if you fell for an email scam?
Types of malicious emails:
Most commonly, cybercriminals use deceptive emails to trick Internet users into giving away their sensitive private information, for example, login information for various online services, email accounts, or online banking information.
Such attacks are called phishing. In a phishing attack, cybercriminals usually send an email message with some popular service logo (for example, Microsoft, DHL, Amazon, Netflix), create urgency (wrong shipping address, expired password, etc.), and place a link which they hope their potential victims will click on.
After clicking the link presented in such email message, victims are redirected to a fake website that looks identical or extremely similar to the original one. Victims are then asked to enter their password, credit card details, or some other information that gets stolen by cybercriminals.
Emails with Malicious Attachments
Another popular attack vector is email spam with malicious attachments that infect users' computers with malware. Malicious attachments usually carry trojans that are capable of stealing passwords, banking information, and other sensitive information.
In such attacks, cybercriminals' main goal is to trick their potential victims into opening an infected email attachment. To achieve this goal, email messages usually talk about recently received invoices, faxes, or voice messages.
If a potential victim falls for the lure and opens the attachment, their computers get infected, and cybercriminals can collect a lot of sensitive information.
While it's a more complicated method to steal personal information (spam filters and antivirus programs usually detect such attempts), if successful, cybercriminals can get a much wider array of data and can collect information for a long period of time.
This is a type of phishing. In this case, users receive an email claiming that a cybercriminal could access the webcam of the potential victim and has a video recording of one's masturbation.
To get rid of the video, victims are asked to pay a ransom (usually using Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency). Nevertheless, all of these claims are false - users who receive such emails should ignore and delete them.
How to spot a malicious email?
While cyber criminals try to make their lure emails look trustworthy, here are some things that you should look for when trying to spot a phishing email:
- Check the sender's ("from") email address: Hover your mouse over the "from" address and check if it's legitimate. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft, be sure to check if the email address is @microsoft.com and not something suspicious like @m1crosoft.com, @microsfot.com, @account-security-noreply.com, etc.
- Check for generic greetings: If the greeting in the email is "Dear user", "Dear @youremail.com", "Dear valued customer", this should raise suspiciousness. Most commonly, companies call you by your name. Lack of this information could signal a phishing attempt.
- Check the links in the email: Hover your mouse over the link presented in the email, if the link that appears seems suspicious, don't click it. For example, if you received an email from Microsoft and the link in the email shows that it will go to firebasestorage.googleapis.com/v0... you shouldn't trust it. It's best not to click any links in the emails but to visit the company website that sent you the email in the first place.
- Don't blindly trust email attachments: Most commonly, legitimate companies will ask you to log in to their website and to view any documents there; if you received an email with an attachment, it's a good idea to scan it with an antivirus application. Infected email attachments are a common attack vector used by cybercriminals.
To minimise the risk of opening phishing and malicious emails we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
Example of a spam email:
What to do if you fell for an email scam?
- If you clicked on a link in a phishing email and entered your password - be sure to change your password as soon as possible. Usually, cybercriminals collect stolen credentials and then sell them to other groups that use them for malicious purposes. If you change your password in a timely manner, there's a chance that criminals won't have enough time to do any damage.
- If you entered your credit card information - contact your bank as soon as possible and explain the situation. There's a good chance that you will need to cancel your compromised credit card and get a new one.
- If you see any signs of identity theft - you should immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission. This institution will collect information about your situation and create a personal recovery plan.
- If you opened a malicious attachment - your computer is probably infected, you should scan it with a reputable antivirus application. For this purpose, we recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.
- Help other Internet users - report phishing emails to Anti-Phishing Working Group, FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, National Fraud Information Center and U.S. Department of Justice.