Email Spamming Botnet Made Over 14 BTC in Five Months With Sextortion Scam

Michael LaVere
  • Security firm Check Point says the Phoripex botnet is responsible for the increase in sextortion emails.
  • Botnet was able to accumulate over $115,000 since April. 

An email spamming scam that involves the sextortion of victims has made more than $115,000 over the last five months, all while utilizing the Phoripex botnet. 

Sextortion Botnet Accumulating Bitcoin

According to researchers at cybersecurity firm Check Point, the Phoripex botnet, also called Trik, is responsible for the massive rise in sextortion phishing scams that have been targeting users for months now. Check Point says that the botnet has been issuing multiple spam campaigns since April, with a particular phishing scam that threatens to have compromising images and photos of the victim. 

A report published last week by ZDNet claimed that the sextortion scam has distributed more than 27 million emails, with the Phorpiex botnet being responsible for more than 30,000 emails per hour. Check Point calculated that the botnet was able to extort more than 14 BTC ($115,000) from victims since the beginning of April, in part by tracking bitcoin addresses used in the malicious emails. 

Check Point’s reverse engineer specialist Alexey Bukhteyev said the profits from the sextortion campaign alone would more than pay for the operating costs of the botnet, let alone for the other scams that are being carried out. 

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