We are currently seeing a lot of extortion / phishing emails that contain details of passwords – sometimes correctly – along with a demand for payment via bitcoin. They all follow a similar template, and the worrying thing is that they often tell the recipient their password.
If you receive one of these emails you should take action – but the threat isn’t as bad as it seems. All the perpetrators have on you is a stolen password, certainly nothing that warrants handing over money to them or losing any sleep over potential consequences.
How did they get my password?
They would have acquired your password from a compromised site. Over the years sites like Adobe, LinkedIn and many others have been hacked and user names and passwords stolen. These then make it onto the dark web where people use them for nefarious purposes. As people tend to reuse passwords it isn’t uncommon to find they have a password that you still use.
To find out if your username and password has been acquired from a breached site go to https://haveibeenpwned.com and enter your email address.
Should I pay them?
Absolutely not. They don’t have anything on you other than a stolen password. Paying them will not make them stop.
How can I stop getting these emails?
Our email security service from Barracuda works well to eliminate these emails and will help to protect against phishing attacks that fool you into handing over your credentials.
Should I change my password?
Absolutely. On any site or service where you are using a compromised password.
How can I protect myself?
Do not reuse passwords between sites. Where possible switch on Multi-factor Authentication. Never click on a link in an email unless you are sure you can trust the source.
If in doubt call our Help Desk on 03332 400661 - we can advise you on IT security to suit your specific needs.
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