Late February 2021, a sextortion scam was reported on several @education.lu emails deployed for the national education system in Luxembourg. Far from being an isolated and new attack, this type of scam regularly claims victims all over the world. With this process, malicious people try to tarnish the reputation of their victims in order to extort money from them thanks to:
- bluffing, by having them believe that they have had access to their systems and thus to the camera of their computer allowing them to film them, without their knowledge, while viewing pornographic websites;
- the dissemination of their private (possibly obsolete) passwords, often derived from data "leaks" from other websites, so to add further pressure.
A scam detected as spam
Users of @education.lu addresses have been struck by the least malicious variant of this scam, whose reported allegations are not only false and made up but above all widely known. This time, however, these allegations had one notable particularity - the Luxembourgish language - the sender(s) having bothered to translate the traditional English text beforehand.
As is often the case, the sender's e-mail address was the same as the recipient e-mail address. The e-mails thus suggested to users that they had been sent from their own e-mail accounts. However, this does not in any way constitute an evidence of account tampering as the sender's address can easily be changed and therefore falsified.
The Restena Foundation recommends its users not to be impressed, not to reply to this type of e-mail and above all not to pay the ransom. The scam has been detected and labelled as SPAM (***** SPAM *****) by the professional anti-spam/anti-virus protection implemented by Restena as part of its 'Anti-virus/anti-spam gateway' service.
To guard again sextortion scam - like other spams, a few measures are to be followed:
- Switch off or hide the camera and microphone of your computer when you are not using them.
- Regularly check your system for viruses and malware.
- Update both system and programs installed on your computer.
- If you have any doubt, change all your passwords to prevent further abuse.