A remarkable new spam campaign has been launched, aimed at countries in the western world. The hackers threaten to detonate a bomb, unless the recipient of the mail makes a payment in bitcoin. Bombs have so far not been found in the locations where they would be located.
The message of the mails is clear: the sender has hidden a bomb in the receiver’s building. That bomb will explode if the receiver doesn’t make a payment in bitcoin for a certain period of time. The total value of that bitcoin must be $20,000. If the recipient calls the police, the bomb goes off too.
So I actually just got a bomb threat in my work email today ordering me to send the person $20,000 via bitcoin or they will blow up my place of work…. 2018 is wild pic.twitter.com/sn0vVLwe6v
— Ryan (@TheeRyanGrant) December 13, 2018
It is not clear how many of these types of spam messages have been sent. The Bleeping Computer site is based on 15,000, where ZDNet claims that millions of people have received these emails. No matter how many there are, many take the threats seriously. This means that there are regular calls to the police in various English-speaking countries.
Reports have been made in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and Australia, among others. The office of the company Infinity Ward, developer of the Call of Duty games, was even completely cleared after the bomb threat. Police searched the building, but found nothing.
This also happened in other offices and buildings in the United States, where the police investigated several times. New York City police even report on Twitter that the threats don’t seem to be real. The messages seem credible, but there is no place where searches were carried out where something was actually found:
At this time, it appears that these threats are meant to cause disruption and/or obtain money. We’ll respond to each call regarding these emails to conduct a search but we wanted to share this information so the credibility of these threats can be assessed as likely NOT CREDIBLE.
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) December 13, 2018
Of course, governments and police departments take the threats seriously. At the moment, a major research is being carried out in order to find out who is behind this.This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.