Hackers using program to identify first letters of internet password to extort money
Hackers blackmailed victims in Dubai asking for payment in Bitcoins.
Hackers are using a new programme to identify first three letters of email passwords in order to blackmail users, police said on Sunday.
The warning from police came after hackers blackmailed victims in Dubai asking for payment in Bitcoins.
Major-General Khalil Ebrahim Al Mansouri, Assistant Commander-in-Chief for Criminal Investigation Affairs of Dubai Police, said the hackers have a new method in extortion by sending an email to the victim with first three letters of their internet passwords in order to convince them that they have access to their personal content on email.
“Hackers have a new online extortion method. They use a special program to get first three letters of the passwords as a proof that they have hacked the email. The terrified victims have paid the money,” Maj Gen Al Mansouri said.The police registered five such incidents recently.
In one case, an Asian man who made a funny video of his boss secretly to send it to other employees to make fun of him was targeted by hackers. He received an email from a stranger saying he had hacked his email address and threatened to post his personal details and pictures online unless he paid him with Bitcoins.
He lodged a complaint with Dubai Police as he was scared that his director would know about the videos.
Lieutenant Colonel Salem Salmeen, Deputy Director of Cybercrimes Department in Dubai Police, said hackers always create new methods to deceive victims in online extortion cases.
“Hackers can use anything against the victim as soon as they get their personal content or pictures. The phoney hacking is a new method. The naivety of some people help the hackers in getting their personal contents,” Lt Col Salmeen said.
In another incident, a woman who saved personal pictures taken during a wedding, received a message that her email password was hacked. Officers checked her phone and told her that she was a victim of phoney hacking. “The hacker manipulates with the victim but he doesnt have the full password. Victims should inform police about online extortion immediately,” Lt Col Salmeen added.
According to the UAEs Cyber Crime Law, anyone who uses the internet to blackmail a victim can be jailed for upto 10 years.
How to safeguard yourself from electronic extortion
Do not accept a friend request from strangers
Do not click on suspicious links
Do not pay any amount of money to strangers befriending you
Dont show interest or weakness [in any schemes or offers]
Block the suspects and avoid communicating with them even if they provoke you and use threats
Inform the police and keep the threatening emails as evidence
Dont share your personal details, address or phone numbers on social media networks