A large surge of hoax emails with bomb threats, unless recipients pay 20.000 dollars to Bitcoins, causes mass closure in hospitals, schools, organizations, and businesses in the US and Canada
Hoax emails began appearing yesterday on Thursday morning and basically warn that they have been placed explosively at the recipient's premises and that they will explode by the end of the day unless the recipient pays $ 20.000 to bitcoin. By late Thursday afternoon, it was reported that more than 100.000 emails have been received. A large percentage of emails used different emails, e-wallets, sender's name, and type of explosive materials. That is, one or some did not just send a tsunamis of identical scam emails, but they changed handwriting according to the recipient.
A sample of these emails is the following:
I write you to inform you that my man has hidden the bomb (tronitrotoluene) in the building where your company is located. My mercenary built a bomb according to my instructions. It is compact and it is hidden very carefully, it is impossible to destroy the structure of the building by my bomb, but in case of its detonation there will be many wounded people.
My mercenary is controlling the situation around the building. If he sees any strange activity or cops he will blow up the device.
I can call off my mercenary if you make a transfer. You pay me 20'000 usd in Bitcoin and explosive will not detonate, but do not try to fool me -I assure you that I have to call off my recruited person solely after 3 confirmations in blockchain.
These emails have caused a lot of problems and closing many buildings in the US and Canada, including:
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Municipal Railroad bus disruptions and evacuations of the Jewish Community Center and the San Francisco Fire Department.
According to ABC 7, evacuations in many hospitals and businesses in Chicago.
Base of the Tampa Bay Times Closing buildings and schools in Tampa, Florida.
All three of these reports are a small part of what was done in both countries. So far there are no reports of explosive materials. OR New York police report that threats are pranks.
It seems unlikely that he or those responsible for the wave of emails will wait to make money out of this trick. First of all, the average person will need one day or more, just to understand how to use the bitcoin. And even people who already have bitcoin are unlikely to make a 20.000 dollar payment without first calling the police.
Since the perpetrators have tried to change the text to thousands of emails each time depending on the recipient, the most likely motivation is to want to create disturbances to the greatest possible extent, or at least to experiment with such massive disturbances. On the other hand, a bomb threat, as ridiculous as it may seem, for the US and Canada, is always taken seriously.