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@ Risk

"I had a rare Twitter username, @N. Yep, just one letter. I’ve been offered as much as $50,000 for it. People have tried to steal it. Password reset instructions are a regular sight in my email inbox. As of today, I no longer control @N. I was extorted into giving it up."
—Naoki Heroshima explains how his accounts were hacked in order to force him to give up his single-letter Twitter handle. [more inside]
posted by me3dia on Jan 30, 2014 - 86 comments

EnCrypt Lock and Buy It

A recent strain of malware called Cryptolocker (technical description from BleepingComputer) has been infecting computers across the Internet. It's of the Ransomware (wiki) genre of attack, and searches a computer's drive for critical files by browsing their extensions (for example, focusing on word processing documents, images and music) and encrypts them with its own key that you can then buy back from the hacker for a fee of $100 to $300 dollars payable in Bitcoins. More information about the virus and how to avoid it is available at Krebs On Security, and the Malwarebytes Blog, with more recent developments on Naked Security.
posted by codacorolla on Nov 7, 2013 - 177 comments

The Biggest Cock

Fast tracking kebal - Plugging the cord into an electric socket, I was instructed to place my foot on top of one of the plates. Pak Edi held the other plate under his own foot, and immediately his leg began to quiver from the electric current.
posted by unliteral on Nov 5, 2012 - 8 comments

Romney in a Brave New World

On September 4, 2012, the first ever Bitcoin extortion attempt was made public. The target? Mitt Romney and his tax returns.
posted by Clementines4ever on Sep 12, 2012 - 112 comments

Fish finger

Security advisor Brian Krebs on the 'hacking' of web dating site Plenty of fish by Chris Russos.
posted by unliteral on Jan 31, 2011 - 73 comments

There are 17 lawyers within 1.2 miles of you

Yelp facing class-action lawsuit over extortive ad sales. "The victims tend to be small businesses, such as our client, who often have no choice but to pay Yelp exorbitant sums in order to prevent further harm to their livelihoods." First reported a year ago in the East Bay Express, "Several business owners likened Yelp to the Mafia, and one said she feared its retaliation."
posted by Afroblanco on Feb 26, 2010 - 64 comments

The Case of Tony Stancl

"Immediately, Ike's rumor mill went into a frenzy. Wired magazine posted the criminal complaint against Stancl on its Web site, and kids downloaded the document, which identified the victims by their initials and dates of birth. Then the kids went to Facebook and searched the Eisenhower network by plugging in birth dates. Within minutes they had a full list of the names of the alleged victims, which made the story even more incredible. These were not wayward, damaged boys. They were athletes. Leaders. Popular, college-bound, bright-futured kids. Boys so unimpeachably straight that there was no way you could imagine them doing the things they were supposed to have done with Tony Stancl."
posted by Saucy Intruder on Jul 17, 2009 - 116 comments

computer whiz vs extortionist

How a Bookmaker and a Whiz Kid Took On an Extortionist — and Won Facing an online extortion threat, Mickey Richardson bet his Web-based business on a networking whiz from Sacramento who first beat back the bad guys, then helped the cops nab them.
posted by dhruva on Mar 14, 2006 - 27 comments

Not in a million years, did we believe he would be able to wheel that bomb right through the front door of that casino

In the early hours of August 26, 1980, two men wheeled a large metal box into one of Lake Tahoe's largest casinos. Thus began a 48-hour saga involving a US$3,000,000 ransom and bungling on both sides resulting in the detonation [MOV] of the device, causing $13 million in property damage and all but demolishing the casino. To this day, the bomb in question remains one of the most sophisticated ever created -- in this case by a former patron hard on his luck. A drama in nine parts: 123456789. [via]
posted by Ogre Lawless on Mar 6, 2006 - 21 comments

visas for sex or sex for visas

sex for visa racket The Home Office today announced that it is to investigate claims of a sex for visas racket at its main immigration centre in Croydon, south London. According to the Sun newspaper, a former employee at the centre, Anthony Pamnani, alleged that corrupt officials gave women leave to remain in return for sex. He claimed more attractive female applicants were given preferential treatment.
posted by Stars Kitten on Jan 3, 2006 - 38 comments

Herding Zombies

Interesting "New Yorker" article about online extortion via DDoS attacks. Call me naive and underinformed, but I had little understanding of how this works. "In the most common scenario, the bots surreptitiously connect hundreds, or thousands, of zombies to a channel in a chat room. The process is called “herding,” and a herd of zombies is called a botnet."
posted by dersins on Oct 7, 2005 - 34 comments

... they sold us to the Pakistani authorities for $5,000 per person.

"It wouldn't surprise me if we paid rewards"
--As part of the AP's receipt of transcripts of the millitary tribunals in Guantanamo, multiple reports of our allies using money the US gave them to buy "terrorists" for shipment there.
..."When I was in jail, they said I needed to pay them money and if I didn't pay them, they'd make up wrong accusations about me and sell me to the Americans and I'd definitely go to Cuba," he told the tribunal. "After that I was held for two months and 20 days in their detention, so they could make wrong accusations about me and my (censored), so they could sell us to you." Another prisoner said he was on his way to Germany in 2001 when he was captured and sold for "a briefcase full of money" then flown to Afghanistan before being sent to Guantanamo....
posted by amberglow on Jun 1, 2005 - 14 comments

No Child Left Unrecruited

What "No Child Left Behind" Really Means
"There, buried deep within the law's 670 pages, is a provision requiring public secondary schools to provide military recruiters not only with access to facilities, but also with contact information for every student -- or face a cutoff of all federal aid."

Read that again slowly, No Child Left Behind is actually a military recruitment program. Backed up with an inverse extortion threat.
via.
posted by fenriq on Dec 1, 2004 - 72 comments

A new twist on paying for Internet porn

A new twist on paying for Internet porn Although no mention of porn in the CNN story. Anyone ever been threatened like this?
posted by Samuel Farrow on Dec 29, 2003 - 18 comments

A small company with an obscure patent is suing e-commerce site owners.

A small company with an obscure patent is suing e-commerce site owners. If you sell something on the web, you may be next. It's hard to tell if they have any legitimate claims or if they're simply extorting money from the people they threaten.
posted by mathowie on Oct 24, 2002 - 26 comments

The Business Software Alliance

The Business Software Alliance is now running new radio ads in the Chicago Area (on 101.1 FM and other channels) saying, "Is your boss riding you hard all day? Want to get your boss back? Call the BSA and tell us your boss is pirating software!" Is this extortion or a necessary wake-up call?
posted by Maxor on Jun 13, 2002 - 17 comments

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