Bitcoin bomb threats in new email scam

Bitcoin bomb threats in new email scam

Matt Blowes December 14, 2018 Security

A new email scam has spread across the U.S. and Canada containing a bomb threat hoax and demands a Bitcoin payment. Reuters reported several buildings were evacuated on December 13 after the scam had spread to major offices and public sites. 

The email has been characterised as spam with no reports of specific threats or actual devices being found. 

The basic, text-based email was largely ignored by many who received it. But sensitive organisations like schools and media companies took the threat seriously and cleared staff from buildings. Including a number of subway stations in Toronto

How to identify the email
  1. The sender email address has been hijacked to mimic a legitimate email address. 
  2. Contains no images, little formatting. 
  3. Will contain a bomb threat. It an attempt to appear threatening, it will list a random substance in brackets next to the threat. 
  4. The threat is vague, "into the building where your business is located".
  5. Demands payment of US$20,000 via a Bitcoin address (it will appear like a series of random letters & numbers). 
  6. Threatening language.

Many services have already identified the hoax bomb threat email as spam, but it may slip through.

Authorities are investigating reported the email is being investigated by the FBI with many local police departments acknowledging they were also looking into the threats. 

Useful resources

See more security advice at Sentrian Help below.

Sentrian Help

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