While harried from trying to find a way to reach Damien, Elizabeth receives an angry call from Sally, informing her that the video of her and Damien having sex was sent to the entire graduate board.Sally does not believe Elizabeth when the latter insists she was hacked, and informs her that her grant is suspended until further notice.
Though Elizabeth later stumbles upon a disturbingly realistic depiction of a death during a game of Russian roulette that turns out to be faked, and her friends (including Max, who is a computer scientist) insist that it is a hoax, she remains unconvinced and is determined to solve the murder.
However, both the police and other users of The Den turn out to be unhelpful.
Though Jenni is alive when Elizabeth finds her, she dies soon after, and Elizabeth finds a suicide note emailed to her, ostensibly from the hacker posing as Jenni.
Elizabeth is further shaken when she receives a message showing the attackers stalking and entering a home owned by Lynn, Elizabeth's pregnant sister.
The graduate board reluctantly gives her a grant, with the help of Sally, one of her friends on the graduate board pushing for her approval.
She spends the next few months continuously chatting with strangers, much to the chagrin of her boyfriend, Damien, and friends Jenni and Max.
Later, when the house is surrounded by police, one of the attackers returns and picks up the camera, revealing that they are either part of law enforcement or posing as a police officer.
The attacker fixates on the father of Lynn's child, who she is separated from, irritating her.
The movie begins with Elizabeth logging into a webcam-based social media site known as The Den, which allows users to chat with random strangers across the world, similar to Chatroulette.
For her graduate project in sociology, she proposes to chat with as many strangers as possible and calculate how many meaningful conversations she can accumulate.
Elizabeth calls for help from the officer guarding her, but she finds him murdered as well.