In 2019, at least 90,000 residents of France were victims of cryptocurrency extortionists who claimed to own compromising images. This was reported by the local national system of assistance to victims of cyberbullying and digital attacks Cybermalveillance.gouv.fr.
Attackers calling themselves hackers convinced users that they had access to their webcam and, under the threat of publishing intimate photos, extorted from several hundred to several thousand euros in cryptocurrency.
For additional pressure on the victim, the ransomware sometimes showed some personal information, for example, old passwords that could be acquired on the darknet.
In 2018, 28,855 residents of France complained of such extortion, so in 2019 the number of cases increased by more than 3 times and amounted to 38% of all requests for help.
At the same time, experts from Cybermalveillance.gouv.fr. argue that the number of real victims can be significantly higher since not all victims report the incident to the police because of an imposed sense of shame.
In April 2019, a massive spam attack was recorded aimed at visitors to porn sites from Russia, the USA, Germany, France, Spain and the Czech Republic. Fraudsters extorted bitcoins from users under the threat of publishing a video that they allegedly managed to record through the victim’s webcam while watching porn.