Assassination Threats Demand Bitcoin Ransom

Processing more than a billion messages a month we tend to see the good, bad, and ugly emails of the internet. It's pretty rare a message will raise our eyebrows or fall into a "disturbing" category, especially for our team that sees the whole range of the underworld daily.

We've seen assassination threats spammed out in the past over the years.  However, the dark nature of these type of threats  will typically provoke a strong emotional reaction by the recipient. They generally purport to be a hit-man and the recipient will be assassinated unless they pay a specified sum of money.  We want to alert users that these type of scammers will stop at nothing to take money from you. How the perpetrators demand payment has varied over the years although the general nature of these messages are the same.

The below example has poor syntax and grammar, which is typical for spam campaigns and a tip-off to the illegitimacy aspect. That said, good grammatical skills aren't a prerequisite for being a hit-man.  Synonymous to ransomware, the below campaign utilized bitcoin payment addresses unique to each recipient. The examples we saw also had ransoms either in .5 or .8 bitcoins. When sent, this would equate to approximately $7,500 -$12,500 US dollars.

Assassination Ransom Threats Assassination Ransom Threats

 

At AppRiver, our SecureTide team continuously monitors 24/7/365 to help prevent these types of campaigns from reaching our users.

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