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One day in Melbourne, when the sun was out and the birds were singing, Matt opened an email and was greeted with a video of a man wanking.
The man was him."There I was in all my glory," he told triple j's Veronica & Lewis. A 'ransomware' program had infected his computer allowing the hackers to film him through the webcam. Now they wanted money."There was an email saying they were going to release footage to all my Facebook friends and people I worked with if I don't pay them money.""Initially I laughed."He wrote back. Matt may have been feeling very much alone, but in fact he was part of an emerging trend of ransomware attacks in Australia.
He told them to do their worst and release the footage. Exact statistics are difficult to come by, as many people who are attacked don't go to police or make their situation public.
But then they replied with a screenshot of his Facebook friends, and personal details from his website. Security software companies, who may have an interest in exaggerating the threat, say they have detected vast numbers of attacks.
Basically 'cybercrime' is hard to quantify and we don't have a clear picture.
Instead, what we have is a bunch of widely varying statistics and some not very helpful but quite scary and exciting maps showing cyber attacks as they occur around the globe."I'm a cop in NSW, this happens all the time, a few weeks ago I had three guys in one day come in to report the same thing.. Feel for you silly boys.""The exact same thing happened to me, but I transferred around 00 via wire transfer to the person in the Ukraine.
Now in hindsight I know it was the wrong thing to do, but I was tunnel visioned by fear and panic at the time.
Nothing ever was sent out online, but I've now had to change my Facebook account name, shut down my Linked In out of fear of my work details being revealed and I'm afraid of what may arise in the future should I want to build a Linked In profile etc again.""I had the exact same thing happen to me.
Sent me a list of all my contacts and a copy of the video.I stressed out for a while, called the cops they said they couldn't do anything about it.So I ended up bluffing them and said I told everyone that matters to me about the video and couldn't afford to pay them.So they never sent the video."Thanks triple j textline.