Canada, U.S. Hit With Waves Of Bitcoin Threats
Over the past 24 hours, businesses and institutions across the nations of Canada and the U.S. have been bombarded with bomb threats, from purported terrorists. According to messages distributed to media outlets, the group(s) sending these threats, issued through the medium of email, are looking for Bitcoin (BTC) in exchange for not decimating places of business, public places, and pertinent landmarks.
One email, obtained by KrebsonSecurity, routed through Bloomberg, claimed that its authors were looking for $200,000 in Bitcoin, an approximate 63 BTC. In another email, which the Cedar Rapids Police Department got its hands on, it was claimed that a man had carried explosives into “the building where your business is conducted.” The latter threat mentioned stipulated a $20,000 worth of BTC extortion.
So interestingly, as the extortion requested, Bitcoin addresses specified, message format, and explosive cited (tetryl, trinitrotoluene, and hexogen) differs from email to email, some assume that this is a coordinated attack from a group, rather than the act of a single individual.
While these extortionists are talking up a big game, no reports indicate that explosives have been planted at places targeted, which are situated all across the aforementioned nations. Yet, in an attempt to preserve the safety of the public, a number of firms and agencies have begun to evacuate their places of work.
A number of subway stations in Toronto, Canada’s largest city, purportedly shut down operations due to the attack, but the whole system seems to be up-and-running. A community hospital in Hillsboro also decided to close up shop, evacuating its building on early Thursday afternoon. Per The Verge, Infinity Ward, the development company behind Call of Duty, had also made a conscious decision to flesh out its offices.
However, authorities have maintained that there isn’t a credible threat. The New York Police Department, for instance, posted an urgent message to its Twitter page, telling its jurisdiction that “NO DEVICES have been found” in the gargantuan urban zone. Representatives from the American Federal Bureau of Intelligence tell Reuters that it is actively looking into the situation.
At the time of writing, no reports indicate that explosions have occurred.
Not The First Time This Has Happened
This isn’t the first time that such a debacle has occurred. As reported by Ethereum World News previously, a series of businesses in Amsterdam were emailed by supposed terrorists. The anonymous terror group, which may or may not be legitimate, threatened businesses with hand grenades and mass shootings if a ransom of 50,000 Euros worth of BTC isn’t paid.
These messages have since been obtained by local Dutch authorities, who reportedly researched into this odd matter. Interestingly, the terrorist’s threatening emails, which a local television station has access to, were first sent to at least three cafes and a local club in May 2018.
Although the threat’s author painted a foreboding picture, the coffee shops targeted have seemingly been unfazed.
Maurice Veldman, a local lawyer working on this case of alleged terrorism, claimed that the victimized businesses he has contacted were not impressed by the email, elaborating to local media:
These types of threats are not taken seriously. They are very easy to make. But we have to report this, because coffeeshops signed a covenant with the mayor, which states that they are obliged to report everything related to safety.
Like in the U.S. and Canada, no explosions or attacks have been directly linked to these threatening emails. As noted by Tom Scott, a popular educational Youtuber, more likely than not, these threats are nothing more than a cash grab.
The Bitcoin-spam-scammers have moved on from fake blackmail threats to fake bomb threats. So far no-one’s paid anything to the address, and I suspect it’ll stay that way. pic.twitter.com/N5MOdmu8Jm
— Tom Scott (@tomscott) December 13, 2018