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Webcam or hacked computer backmail, what to do ?

Blackmailing the hacked webcam or computer is a scam that aims to make you believe that your equipment has been hacked in order to blackmail you. How to deal with this type of cyber blackmail? Not responding, not paying the ransom, changing your password, reporting, filing a complaint...

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What is hacked webcam or computer blackmail?

called hacked computer or webcam blackmail (also known as “cryptoporn”) is a type of scam that aims to trick you into believing that your equipment has been hacked. It generally takes the form of a message received, mainly by e-mail, from an unknown person who presents himself as a hacker.

This "hacker" claims to have taken control of the victim's computer following the consultation of a pornographic site. The cybercriminal then announces that he has obtained compromising videos of the victim made with his webcam. He threatens to publish them to his personal contacts, or even professional ones, if the victim does not pay him a ransom. This ransom, which ranges from a few hundred to several thousand euros, is often claimed in virtual currency (usually in Bitcoin) or PCS coupon.

Sometimes, to attest to the takeover of the computer from the victim, cybercriminals go so far as to write to him with his own email address or reveal one of his passwords.


Extract money under/threat of disclosing compromising videos of the victim to his contacts.

How can you protect yourself against this form of cyber blackmail?

  • Regularly update all your devices for security.

  • Use antivirus software and keep it up to date.

  • Avoid unsafe or illegal sites.

  • Use sufficiently complex passwords and change them if in doubt.

  • Do not open suspicious messages, their attachments and click on links.

  • Hide your webcam when not in use (a simple piece of opaque tape over the lens may suffice).

Victim of blackmail on the allegedly hacked webcam or computer, what to do?

  1. Do not panic. Indeed, you probably have nothing really compromising to reproach yourself with.

  2. Don't answer. You should never respond to such blackmail threats that show cybercriminals that your email address is “valid” and that you are interested in the blackmail message they sent you.

  3. Do not pay the ransom. And this, even if you had any doubts. Indeed, no enforcement of the threats has been demonstrated so far and you would therefore be unnecessarily feeding this criminal system.

  4. Save the evidence. Take screenshots, keep the messages that can be used to report this extortion attempt to the authorities.

  5. Change your password as soon as possible wherever you use it if it has been leaked or in the slightest doubt and choose a solid one (all our advice for managing your passwords).

  6. Contact your bank if you paid the ransom to try to reverse the transaction.

  7. File a complaint at the police station or the gendarmerie brigade or by addressing your complaint to the public prosecutor of the judicial court on which you depend.


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