New Extortion Scam Threatens to Damage Sites’ Reputation, Leak Data

An active extortion scam is targeting website owners and admins worldwide, claiming to have hacked their servers and demanding $2,500 not to leak data.

The attackers (self-dubbed Team Montesano) are sending emails with “Your website, databases and emails has been hacked” subjects.

The emails appear to be non-targeted, with ransom demand recipients from all verticals, including personal bloggers, government agencies, and large corporations.

The scam is so widespread that our own reporter Ax Sharma and Have I Been Breached created Troy Hunt have also received these extortion attempts.

The spam messages warn that the hackers will leak stolen data, damage their reputation, and get the site blacklisted for spam if the targets don’t make a payment of $2,500.

Unfortunately, the bitcoin transactions to the wallet 3Fyjqj5WutzSVJ8DnKrLgZFEAxVz6Pddn7 indicate that someone may have paid the extortion demand already.

Even though these emails can be scary to those website owners who receive them, it is important to remember that they are just scams.

They are being mass-emailed to many people and are just trying to scare people into making a payment. Instead, just mark them as spam and delete them.

Also, always search for the Bitcoin address embedded in the blackmail email you receive on the Bitcoin Abuse Database to find any reports of fraudsters actively using them.

Since the summer of 2018, threat actors have been behind a wide assortment of email extortion scams.

The list includes scams that pretend to be bomb threats, hitman contracts, CIA investigations, threats of installing ransomware, as well ones containing threats to infect the targets’ families with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

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