The Department of Homeland Services reported a torrent of bomb threats were emailed to universities, businesses, schools and
news outlets Thursday, December 13th. The threats from New York City to San Francisco sent police departments scrambling to sort out what appeared to be a nationwide electronic hoax aimed at extorting bitcoin from its targets. The emails claim that a device will detonate unless a ransom in Bitcoin is paid.
There were no reports that any actual explosive devices had been discovered, but the threats alone had forced many police departments to monitor and investigate.
"We are currently monitoring multiple bomb threats that have been sent electronically to various locations throughout the city," The New York City Counterterrorism Bureau said on Twitter that same day.
How You Can Protect Yourself and Your Organization
The National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) recommends taking the following actions if your organization is a target:
- Do not respond or try to contact the sender.
- Do not pay the ransom.
- Report the email to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Internet Crime Complaint Center or to a local FBI Field Office.
You can read the notification from the US Department of Homeland Security in its entirety here.