Interpol launches #YouMayBeNext campaign to highlight digital extortion threats

Malicious actors exploit your device’s vulnerabilities to gain access to confidential information to blackmail you, and extort money. Anyone can fall victim to a cyberattack.

“People often do not think or believe that they will fall prey to cybercrime until it is too late. Unfortunately, cybercriminals exploit every opportunity and vulnerability that they see in networks, systems, and programs. By taking advantage of these vulnerabilities, they can cause severe financial loss, distress, and harm to millions,” Craig Jones, Interpol’s Director of Cybercrime, said.

Interpol has launched an awareness campaign, #YouMayBeNext, to remind the public that cyberattacks can happen to everyone and at any time. The two-week awareness campaign (1-17 June) will focus on cybercrimes that involve extortion, including:

Sextortion: when criminals coerce or trick their victims into sharing explicit images or videos, which are subsequently used for blackmail.

Ransomware: a type of malware that typically encrypts files or steals sensitive data from a system. Criminals then demand money to decrypt files or threaten to disclose sensitive data if a ransom is not paid.

A Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack: a malicious attempt to disrupt the normal traffic of a targeted server, service, or network by overwhelming the target or its surrounding infrastructure with a flood of Internet traffic. Unless an extortion demand is paid, some cybercriminals threaten individuals or organizations with a DDoS incursion.

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