The “Subject ALERT! I hacked your server” email is a scam that tries to trick you into thinking that your computer or phone is infected with malware and then threatens to make your personal data public. Contrary to the claims in the email, you haven’t been hacked (or at least, that’s not what prompted this email) and this is nothing more than a scam that tries to trick you into sending Bitcoins to these scammers. This is merely a new variation on an old scam which is popularly being called “sextortion”.
This is the text of the “Subject ALERT! I hacked your server” blackmail email, including the grammatical and spelling errors:
Subject: ALERT! I hacked your server and have you information safe
Hey [removed] ,
I am a programmer and hacked your computer 3 months ago. I kept saving information all the time, such as:
browsing history, screen recordings, contacts, messages and much more.
I already wanted to forget you, but recently I saw something interesting on your device. I’m talking about
the day you visited a porn site. I decided to record video from the webcam ,phone screens and desktop. Now I
have a video of you masturbating yourself. You know what I mean??
I connected to the webcam remotely, and turned off the indicator so that you would not notice anything.
I have already written down all your contacts from the address book. All contacts from friends,
acquaintances, relatives. All this will be with me.
I am ready to forget about all this and completely stop accessing your computer and email. I guarantee I will
not send these videos and delete all archives with them. After that I will leave and no longer bother you,
but for that I want to have $300 worth of bitcoins in my wallet. You have 48 hours after reading this email.
I still control your email and computer – and I know when you open them and read them.
Don’t try to change your email password, everything is under control. Do not try to contact me and answer
this letter. I sent it to you from your email address. Take a look at the sender, you will see that I have
complete control over your email and your computer.
Bitcoin wallet address:
If you do not know how to buy bitcoins, you can find information on how to buy bitcoins online. If you need
help, you can read several articles about it.
I look forward to your actions. If you don’t need this data online and with all your friends, send $500 to my
wallet ASAP. After that I will erase all data and disappear from your life.
Do not be offended by me. If you pay, nothing happens.
Next time update your browser before browsing the web!
The above email and anything it states is just a scam to try and scare you into paying the ransom. If you have received the “Subject ALERT! I hacked your server” email, we recommend deleting it and under no circumstances send any money to these cybercriminals.
Is the “Subject ALERT! I hacked your server” email real?
No, and don’t panic. The “Subject ALERT! I hacked your server” email is a scam that tries to trick you into thinking that your device or email has been hacked, then demands payment, or else they will send compromising information -such as images of you captured through your web camera or your pornographic browsing history – to all your friends and family. And in classic ransomware fashion, there’s typically a ticking clock. Giving users a short time limit to deliver the payment is social engineering at its finest.
Threats, intimidation, and high-pressure tactics are classic signs of a scam.
As you can imagine, the “Subject ALERT! I hacked your server” extortion email and anything it states is just a scam to try and scare you into paying the ransom.
They have my password! How did they get my password?
To make the threats more credible, the scammers may include one of your passwords in this email. The scammers have your password from sites that were hacked, and in this case, likely matched up to a database of emails and stolen passwords and sent this scam out to potentially millions of people. You can check if your email or password was compromised in a data breach on Haveibeenpwned.
If the password emailed to you is one that you still use, in any context whatsoever, stop using it and change it NOW. It’s also recommended that you enable two-factor authentication for your email and online accounts whenever that is an option.
Should I pay the ransom?
You should not pay the ransom. If you pay the ransom, you’re not only losing money but you’re encouraging the scammers to continue phishing other people.
Delete the “Subject ALERT! I hacked your server” email, and under no circumstances pay these cyber criminals a penny/dime/bitcoin.
What should I do now?
We recommend that you ignore the content of the “Subject ALERT! I hacked your server” email and delete it from your Inbox. However, if you have downloaded any attachments or clicked on any links from this email, or if you suspect that your computer might be infected with malware, you can follow the below guide to and scan your device for malware and remove it for free.
Depending on which operating system is installed on the device you want to scan for malicious programs, follow the removal guide.
- Scan and remove malware from Windows
- Scan and remove malware from Mac
- Scan and remove malware from Android