If you are like me, one of the first things you do when you sit down at your desk each morning is sift through your new email. Let’s say you come across the following email :
My man carried a bomb (Hexogen) into the building where your company is located. It is constructed under my direction. It can be hidden anywhere because of its small size, it is not able to damage the supporting building structure, but in the case of its detonation you will get many victims.
My mercenary keeps the building under the control. If he notices any unusual behavior or emergency he will blow up the bomb.
I can withdraw my mercenary if you pay. You pay me 20.000 $ in Bitcoin and the bomb will not explode, but don’t try to cheat -I warrant you that I will withdraw my mercenary only after 3 confirmations in blockchain network.
Here is my Bitcoin address : 1GHKDgQX7hqTM7mMmiiUvgihGMHtvNJqTv
You have to solve problems with the transfer by the end of the workday. If you are late with the money explosive will explode.
This is just a business, if you don’t send me the money and the explosive device detonates, other commercial enterprises will transfer me more money, because this isnt a one-time action.
I wont visit this email. I check my Bitcoin wallet every 35 min and after seeing the money I will order my recruited person to get away.
If the explosive device explodes and the authorities notice this letter:
We are not terrorists and dont assume any responsibility for explosions in other buildings.
Would you forward this to the boss? Call the police? Delete it?
Over the last week there have been reports of businesses and schools shutting down in fear that this threat could be real. Unfortunately this is just the latest in the line of scams via email. Last year we also saw the rise of sextortion emails which, again, caused a lot of panic.
Personally, I look at these type emails and laugh at how phony they are. Extremely generic, no details. That is also why it is effective. They can send out a generic email to hundreds of thousands (maybe even millions) of email addresses, and how much does that cost them? They just need one person to take them serious and they cash in. Talk about return on their investment.
I will not give you any advice on how to handle an email like this if it hits your inbox. School districts, hospitals, and large companies have a lot of things to take into consideration when it comes to the safety of their institutions. For now, the FBI is asking that you contact your local branch so they can attempt to get to the source.
Hopefully this will run its course quickly and not cause much disruption and panic, especially with holiday season on top of us.
If you have any questions or concerns about email you have received or would like to not receive email like this at all (even better), contact us.