CSIT has this morning seen indications of a new wavy of email extortion scams targeting accounts within our domain. While we have seen this particular scam previously and warned the NWU community against it, the indications of a significant number of these message being distributed within our domain warrant a reminder.
In this scam, an email message arrives in the target account which, on casual inspection, appears to come from their own account. The sender of the email claims to know the recipient's account password, perhaps even including an old account password as evidence that they have compromised the account. The scammer claims that they will release embarrassing information, along with video captured through the recipient's computer camera, unless they are paid a specific amount of money. They further claim that, if they do not receive the payment, they will release the video to all the contacts in the recipient's account.
The email and the threat are fraudulent. Extortion scams of this type have been widely reported by educational and other institutions. Should you receive a message like the one described here, you should not respond to it in any way and certainly should NOT make any payment. If you nevertheless suspect that your account has been compromised, you should change your account password(s) immediately and contact CSIT for additional assistance. Please do not hesitate to contact CSIT regarding any suspicious email before taking attempting any response.