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Meerkat emerged as a media and tech darling, easily winning the war for attention at this year’s SXSW.
It initially piggybacked off of Twitter, but was quickly cut off, likely because Twitter has its own plans for a live streaming service built around a company it just acquired, Periscope.
Hackers seize control of the webcam remotely – recording potentially embarrassing footage of the victim watching adult content online.
The cybercriminals demand a ransom, threatening to release the footage online for everyone to see if their demands are not met.
CERT NZ shared the news on its official blog, writing “The email claims that when the person visited an unspecified adult website the scammer turned on the person’s webcam and recorded what was happening.“The scammer threatens to email the video to all the person’s contacts unless they pay a ransom of around 0.“We can’t confirm whether the video recordings actually exist, or if this is an opportunistic scam.”Get Safe Online, which is a joint initiative between the UK Government, law enforcement agencies, public and private sector companies, has approached uk with some tips to protect against this type of blackmail.
Tony Neate, CEO of Get Safe Online, told : “This type of practice is known as a RAT (Remote Access Trojan) or ratting which, put simply, is a virus that allows someone to invisibly access your computer and take control of it, most commonly to access and control your webcam.“Although RATs are becoming increasingly common there are ways that you can prevent it from happening to you.“Because it’s all happening invisibly, this is one of the instances where it pays to indulge your paranoid side.“The first and foremost way to protect yourself is to simply cover up the camera – giving the cyber criminals nothing to see.”CERT NZ recommends taking your computer to an IT specialist to check for malware.
There have been reports of these videos being released on social media.
But it’s not only smartphone viewers who should be concerned.
According to research by New Zealand security firm CERT NZ, there has been a spike in the number of people secretly filmed by their own webcam while viewing adult material online.
According to data from the London-based company, almost a quarter of malware on mobile devices originates from xxx-rated video websites.
That means watching porn on your smartphone carries a much higher risk than watching it on a traditional PC set-up.“Smartphone operating systems, especially Android, are not as secure as desktops, there are many vulnerabilities that can be easily exploited by hackers,” Wandera warns.