Blackmail Ahoy!

POSTED: July 3, 2018

Today I got an email that said the following:


I hope u do not mind my english grammar, considering that i am from Indonesia. I infected your machine with a trojan and now have all of your private information from your operating system.

It was installed on an adult site then you have chosen the online video and clicked on it, my software quickly gain access to your computer.

After that, your webcamera captured you going manual, on top of that i caught a video that you’ve viewed.

After a short while furthermore, it pulled out all of your device contact list. In case you want me to get rid of your everything i possess – transfer me 490 euros in btc it is a crypto. This is my btc account address : 17XJ9HNFCm9SREjLLw5PwqhmR4qRw1ajqc

At this point you will have 27hr s. to make up your mind As soon as i will get the transfer i’ll get rid of this footage and everything thoroughly. In any other case, you should remember that your video is going to be submitted to all of your friends.

I could immediately see four problems with this.

Firstly, I haven’t watched any “adult sites” in recent times so I rather suspect that my Indonesian friend has mixed me up with someone else.

Secondly, looking at the instructions at the end, I realise that I genuinely do not understand how to transfer the 490 euros to my would-be blackmailer. I do not doubt that I could find out, if I felt that I had to. Right now, however, I could not comply with this request even if I wanted to.

Note to beginning blackmailers: bitcoin has advantages of anonymity but it has a certain opacity for most of the population. If you wish to receive your ill-gotten gains please remember to include detailed payment instructions.

Thirdly, brief simulated experiments at home show that watching a movie online requires me to angle my laptop lid upwards. Videoing my penis requires me to angle my laptop lid down. Therefore a captured webcam will record my face, or the ceiling, whenever I watch a movie; and my groin will remain an unrecorded mystery to everyone except me.

Fourthly, though, and of most interest to me: “your webcamera captured you going manual”? This caused me to pause for a minute.

Has “going manual” become a synonym for wanking in recent times, without anyone telling me, or has my blackmailing chum’s lack of fluent English invented a wonderful neologism?

I find it a delightful metaphor, with its implicit confusion of erections and gear sticks. Indeed, I got so excited reading this that I almost went manual, right there and then.

Almost, but not quite.