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Cyber-Shamers Scrape And Post Personal Info From Court Decisions To Extort Money

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by The Scarlet Pimp, Mar 31, 2014.

  1. The Scarlet Pimp

    The Scarlet Pimp Senior Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Chair moistener.
    expect to see more of this in the future...

    How cyber-shame scams are playing on our privacy fears and scaling up

    Shelley Engels felt a hot flush of panic when she saw the Google search results.

    The mother of two teenagers had typed her own name into the search engine to confirm that her work email address had been changed to her maiden name on her employer's website. She was shocked to see a link to a legal judgment outlining the resolution of a tense dispute with her ex-husband.

    Earlier decisions in their case had listed the two by their initials only, but this document contained their full names, their incomes for the previous four years, the full names and birth dates of their children and potentially embarrassing details of their personal lives.

    What's more, this judgment cropped up in a Google search, while documents published on the Canadian website that publishes most court decisions in this country are not indexed by the search engine and don't show up in result lists.

    As she scanned the judgment Ms. Engels realized it was posted on a foreign website that was asking for money ? payment by credit card or PayPal happily accepted ? in exchange for the removal of personal details.

    A prominent sidebar on Globe24h.com said it would edit out sensitive personal data for free but that would take up to 180 days and removal from Google's search index could take up to a year. On the other hand, "express" service of less than 96 hours could be arranged for just 19 euros, and the fastest solution would scrub the personal information within 12 hours for 129 euros or almost $200.

    It may not sink to the same low level as so-called "revenge porn" sites that use intimate photos to extract money and humiliation from victims, but this and other online scams like it can also exact a heavy toll on those whose privacy is compromised. The Internet Crime Complaint Center, a joint research initiative with the U.S. FBI, said it received close to 290,000 complaints of Internet-related crimes in general in 2012, with losses totaling US$525-million.

    But due to the nature of schemes like this one, which play on fears of the revelation of personal information, it is difficult to get a clear sense of just how common this type of cyber shaming is.

    "There are a lot of these kinds of sites, lots of little angles where they just try to eke out nickels and pennies here and there," says David Fewer, the director of Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic based in Ottawa. "I definitely think we?ll see more, not less of this."

    Ms. Engels, which is not her real name, wanted to stand up to those behind the site. But she was wracked with worry that revealing her identity or even the province she lived in publicly would make things worse for her children, who would now be connected online to the details of their parents' disagreement.

  2. ChapoGuzman

    ChapoGuzman BANNED BANNED

    Jun 7, 2013
    Likes Received:
    lol people will find anyway way to make a dollar.