The Greatest New Cyberthreat to Teens Is a Crime Called "Sextortion"

Teen sexting is on the rise, and so is a horrific new cybercrime linked to it. Researchers have found a sharp increase in the number of teens who have discovered that their nudes had been disseminated without their consent. They’re literally using nudes to blackmail one another — a new type of cybercrime called “sextortion.”

In a study, published September 28 in the journal Sexual Abuse, cybercrime researchers outlined just how significant a problem sextortion is among young people in the US.

To put it bluntly, sextortion is a form of sexual slavery. There are already some truly terrifying examples of it in action. In 2011, Luis Mijangos, a hacker from Southern California, infiltrated the computers of several women, found compromising photos, and then used them as leverage to ensure that the women kept sending him nudes.

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