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Crime Bitcoin

Phone Hacking Group Is Trading Fake Bomb Threats For Bitcoin (softpedia.com) 39

An anonymous reader writes: French police arrested a suspect in connection to a group of hackers that are selling fake bomb threats for Bitcoin. The group has been terrorizing cities in France, UK, USA, and Australia for months. Police suspect they are doing this by using a anonymity XMPP service to hack into VoIP phones and make the fake bomb threats and swatting calls. The group is charging $5 worth of Bitcoin for schools and company headquarters, $10 worth of Bitcoin for courthouses and entire school districts, $20 worth of Bitcoin for sports events and major conventions, and $50 worth of Bitcoin for "major" sports events. Additionally, for an extra $5 worth of Bitcoin, the group would also frame someone else for the incident.
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Phone Hacking Group Is Trading Fake Bomb Threats For Bitcoin

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  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Monday February 15, 2016 @02:20PM (#51512639)

    >> for an extra $5 worth of Bitcoin

    I think you dropped a decimal. If not, these criminals are dumber than they sound: stealing a pocketful of candy at the neighborhood store is $5 worth and won't land you in prison.

    >> are selling fake bomb threats

    And what's a "fake bomb threat"? (A "bomb threat" is one where someone calls in claiming to have planted a bomb.) Is a "fake bomb threat" where someone just pretends to make a call...?

    • by neminem ( 561346 )

      I agree with your first point. $5 is laughably tiny. Bullies at elementary schools routinely steal more than $5 from other elementary schoolers.

      I don't agree with your second point: a "bomb threat" is when someone calls in claiming to have planted a bomb... whether or not they did, in fact, actually plant a bomb; they may well have. A "fake bomb threat" is a bomb threat in which they explicitly didn't actually plant the bomb but claim they did. How is that not clear?

      • Actually $50 is laughable amount depending on where the threat takes place it could be a felony with jail-time. $5k worth of business in the US would likely land them 100+ felonies and if they are not concurrent... that's a long time.

    • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Monday February 15, 2016 @03:17PM (#51513229) Journal

      I think you dropped a decimal. If not, these criminals are dumber than they sound

      They make up for it in volume.

      • by TWX ( 665546 )
        Given the large number of incidents that have transpired lately, the opportunity-cost for someone wanting to close their school for a day or harass a business or event or building with very little chance of being caught is extraordinarily low. If the end-perpetrator actually is in another country with little to no chance of being caught, or if they can script this so that third-party computers are used to actually make the threat then they can rake in money from lots of disgruntled people each wanting to m
    • by dissy ( 172727 )

      I think you dropped a decimal. If not, these criminals are dumber than they sound

      I would assume "$5 worth of bitcoin" maybe should be "5 bitcoins", which is about $2000 USD at the moment.

      Assuming that the dollar amount was meant to be the bitcoin amount, that would translate:

      The group is charging $5 worth of Bitcoin for schools and company headquarters, $10 worth of Bitcoin for courthouses and entire school districts, $20 worth of Bitcoin for sports events and major conventions, and $50 worth of Bitcoin for "major" sports events. Additionally, for an extra $5 worth of Bitcoin, the group

      • Thanks for the translation!

        • by dissy ( 172727 )

          Yea sorry for the messy view of it. I meant to only have the translated line in italics, and to delete the original when I was done using it as a reference.

          I guess that will learn me to not use preview

    • This is a perfect chance for the NSA to prove they actually do something to protect America. People making bomb threats (Terrorists!), for money (new espresso maker), lots of good publicity, and they already have a world wide network monitoring the internet.
  • One has to admire such entrepreneurship. After all, that what made America great...
  • Calling somebody up and saying there's a fake bomb isn't that scary. Do they charge extra to pretend it's a real bomb?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Calling somebody up and saying there's a fake bomb isn't that scary. Do they charge extra to pretend it's a real bomb?

      If they call a school (even if they said it was a fake bomb), the school will most likely treat the situation as if there is a real bomb in play out of an abundance of caution and also to CYA. People roll their eyes whenever a school evacuates and think 'Geeze...another fake bomb threat", but sure as the world, if a REAL bomb ever goes off, then everyone is ready to barbeque the superintendent of the school and everyone lawyers up.

      Damned if you do and damned if you don't....

  • >> $50 worth of Bitcoin for "major" sports events

    At that price I can imagine there would be a ton of wives and girlfriends trying to put a stop to most football on TV.

    • by GNious ( 953874 )

      >> $50 worth of Bitcoin for "major" sports events

      At that price I can imagine there would be a ton of wives and girlfriends trying to put a stop to most football on TV.

      Why? French wifes and girlfriends might like seeing 22 sweaty men run around on a field.

  • The term is Phreaking for fuck's sake! Jesus H Jumping Christ on a rusty pogostick... Who the fuck writes the summaries around here? This is the 21st century version of beige boxing a bomb threat, with a novel method of payment for the rendered service.

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