UCLA Information Security Office is aware of UCLA staff being targeted by the "I have e-mailed you from your account" scam emails (subject line. "Waiting for the payment."; the subject line may vary) claiming to have sent these letters via recipients' own mail accounts.
In this phishing email, staff receives an email claiming that a cybercriminal could access their device webcam and has an explicit photo/video recording of them.
To get rid of the video/photo, staff are asked to pay a ransom (usually using Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency). Nevertheless, all of these claims are false - UCLA staff members who receive such emails should ignore and delete them.
Below is a sample phishing email that was recently sent out. If you receive this, please do not respond to it and delete the email message.
"Hello! Have you recently noticed that I have e-mailed you from your account?
Yes, this simply means that I have total access to your device.
For the last couple of months, I have been watching you.
Still wondering how is that possible? Well, you have been infected with malware originating from an adult website that you visited. You may not be familiar with this, but I will try explaining it to you.
With help of the Trojan Virus, I have complete access to a PC or any other device.
This simply means I can see you at any time I wish to on your screen by simply turning on your camera and microphone, without you even noticing it. In addition, I have also got access to your contacts list and all your correspondence.
You may be asking yourself, "But my PC has an active antivirus, how is this even possible? Why didn't I receive any notification?" Well, the answer is simple: my malware uses drivers, where I update the signatures every four hours, making it undetectable, and hence keeping your antivirus silent.
I have a video of you wanking on the left screen, and on the right screen - the video you were watching while masturbating.
Wondering how bad could this get? With just a single click of my mouse, this video can be sent to all your social networks, and e-mail contacts.
I can also share access to all your e-mail correspondence and messengers that you use.
All you have to do to prevent this from happening is - transfer bitcoins worth $1450 (USD) to my Bitcoin address (if you have no idea how to do this, you can open your browser and simply search: "Buy Bitcoin").
My bitcoin address (BTC Wallet) is:
After receiving a confirmation of your payment, I will delete the video right away, and that's it, you will never hear from me again.
You have 2 days (48 hours) to complete this transaction.
Once you open this e-mail, I will receive a notification, and my timer will start ticking.
Any attempt to file a complaint will not result in anything, since this e-mail cannot be traced back, same as my bitcoin id.
I have been working on this for a very long time by now; I do not give any chance for a mistake.
If, by any chance I find out that you have shared this message with anybody else, I will broadcast your video as mentioned above.