Sextortion thus turns out to be quite easy to accomplish in a target-rich environment that often does not require more than malicious guile.

More often, it involves manipulation and trickery on social media.

But at the core of the crime always lies the intersection of cybersecurity and sexual coercion.

We tend think of cybersecurity as a problem for governments, major corporations, and—at an individual level—for people with credit card numbers or identities to steal.

The average teenage or young-adult Internet user, however, is the very softest of cybersecurity targets.

The perpetrator wanted a pornographic video of the victim.

And if she did not send it within one day, he threatened to publish the images already in his possession, and “let [her] family know about [her] dark side.” If she contacted law enforcement, he promised he would publish the photos on the Internet too.

The malicious software he employed provided access to all files, photos, and videos on the infected computers.

And if they did, he would then threaten them further, notifying them that he knew they had told someone.

Our key findings include: The paper proceeds in several distinct parts.