Tech firms duped into abetting underage extortion – media

Multiple social media firms have been tricked into coughing up customer data later used to sexually harass and target minors Read Full Article at

Tech firms duped into abetting underage extortion – media
28 Apr, 2022 00:29 HomeWorld News

Tech firms duped into abetting underage extortion – media

Fake legal requests used to scare up scandalous material weaponized against minors

A handful of Big Tech firms have been conned into turning over user data in response to phony law enforcement requests – data that is then used to extort and sexually harass those users, several sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg on Tuesday.

sources claimed. The fake law enforcement officers reportedly target specific women and minors, sometimes coercing them into creating and sharing sexually explicit material using threats of retaliation.

“emergency data request” targeting a particular social media user. When the company provides the requested information, the hacker can use it to compromise the target’s social media accounts outright or befriend them over a period of time, eventually coercing or blackmailing them into providing sexually explicit photos or videos.

“swatting,” a potentially deadly prank that involves calling in a fake threat to a local 911 dispatcher. Police sent to the target’s home may be told the individual is violent, leading to potentially deadly confrontations. Others may have their personal information posted to dedicated doxxing websites, inviting random miscreants to torment them at will. Those duped into providing sexually explicit material are told the offending photos will be sent to family members, friends or employers.

“imminent danger” such as kidnapping, suicide or murder.

Companies willingly turn over the names, IP addresses, emails, physical addresses, and sometimes even more information in response to such requests – often responding in the same way as they would to a court-ordered subpoena. And in some cases, the fake requests do come accompanied by a judge’s forged signature, which can reportedly be purchased for as little as $10 on the dark web.

“validate” legitimate data requests, while Twitter and Apple declined to comment on the matter. When requested, the companies provide the desired data in the vast majority of cases, even without a court order. Apple reportedly complies with 93% of emergency requests, while Meta allegedly supplies data in response to 77% of inquiries.

“We are now witnessing their transition to organized crime, and all the real world violence and sexual abuse that comes with it,” she said, urging authorities to try these “serious” offenders as adults.