“Help, Help, I’m being Blackmailed”

 February 10, 2019




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“Expert blackmail? Photos of infidelity? No – this is the digital age and there are new forms of blackmail afoot.” – reports HelloMonaco.com

Digital blackmail is effective and simple for those with strong computer skills. Pay lots of money or suffer! But suffer how? Nowadays our lives depend on computers, networks and the internet. So if the “digital bad guys” can hack in and block a company’s IT infrastructure then the company can’t get its vital work done. It can’t get at the information it needs. It can’t service its customers, suppliers or employees.

A medical professional had computerized his office and linked everything he could digitally, launching himself into this new futuristic world. He had used an outside IT consultant to do the work and had made a substantial part payment, about 60% on a 50.000 euro plus IT services invoice.

There were bugs in the system apparently and the medic wanted to pay the amount remaining due, on ensuring the system was operating bug-free. Cleverly, was the question before the court, the IT expert had inserted an algorithm in the system that blocked everything until his bill was paid.

The medic felt blackmailed and paid other IT consultants to come in and free-up his system. So the case before the court eventually settled on a civil suit. The medic demanded reimbursement of expenses for the fix and associated damages while the system was down. In the region of 30.000 euros claimed, the court ruled in favour but pared the settlement down well below 10.000 euros. Digital blackmail – it’s a new age question! And the Courts will be challenged to find answers.

Originally published by Olga Taran at HelloMonaco.com

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