Many of our customers have recently reported messages from people claiming to have intercepted their username and password. These emails often state that they viewed and recorded your screen activity and webcam.
Usually, attackers threaten to pass the video on to your contacts, colleagues and social media channels. They require payment in bitcoin in order to keep what is known as the information they have private.
Where did the attacks come from?
At some point when hackers claimed to have victims' passwords, it turned out to be true.
In the past few years, many large websites have suffered tremendous hacks in which their users' sensitive data was published online. Services like LinkedIn, Yahoo and Myspace have suffered massive and devastating hacks. Some users of these services are still feeling the consequences today.
The details leaked from these sites (and others facing the same issues) will continue to be sold online for years after the initial breach. Hackers buy username and password combinations in the hopes of reusing them to access services, steal money, and / or blackmail their owners.
How should one answer
If you've been contacted by any of these hackers, it's scary that they have access to your credentials, data, and other online services.
The only thing you can do in response to this type of email is to ignore it. That email, titled "We Got Your Information", is a scam that has gotten a lot more believable as it likely contains one of your real passwords that you obtained through a site hack.
However, accounts that use the same password should be changed immediately, and the security of any additional services that you use should also be updated.
Self defense on the web
When you use online services, having a unique passphrase for each website is your number one defense. A good password manager also makes this practical and straightforward.
If you use a different password for each site you use, hackers can only access one site at a time. A hack in one place will never put your other accounts at risk as you won't reveal every password you use.
People often think that managing lots of passwords is hard work, but it's almost always easier to keep track of things with a password manager.
With a high quality and secure password manager like LastPass, Keypass or 1Password you can track all your logins efficiently and securely. They are often an opportunity to improve your security by generating random and secure passwords that are difficult for hackers to crack.
Password management services offer a variety of features to help you log in, update your security, and even make your security a top priority. After only using a manager for a short period of time, you will wonder how you got along without him.
If you believe you have been hacked or want to prevent it from being hacked, contact us at 661-263-4442