BITCOINS bomb threats sweep, US, Canada, but lack credibility :

A rash of bomb threats emailed on Thursday to hundreds of businesses, public offices and schools across the United States and Canada demanding payment in cryptocurrency, but none of the threats appeared credible, law enforcement officials said.

Initial jitters sparked by the wave of awkwardly worded messages, threatening to set off explosives unless $20,000 were delivered in bitcoin, subsided within hours as some local authorities began referring to the electronic extortion notes as a scam.

''One email targeting a St Louis area middle school was traced local investigators to an Internet Protocol, or IP, address in Moscow, the sheriff's office in Lincoln County, Missouri said.

But US government sources speaking on background to Reuters said that such findings were inconclusive and that federal investigators doubted that Russians or the Russian government were involved.

The officials cautioned that such an IP address does not prove it came from Russia because the sender could have electronically laid a false trail to cover up its origin. They suggested instead that the flurry of emails were part of a wide-scale digital hoax.

The security scam began shortly before 2. p.m. EST [1900 GMT] as police departments in major US cities coast to coast began reporting on Twitter that numerous local businesses had received the menacing emails.

Six hours into the security scare, no actual explosives had been found, authorities said.

But the threats prompted brief evacuations of a Toronto subway station and a newspaper office in Raleigh, North Carolina. Some public schools and businesses also were also evacuated as a precaution. [Agencies]

The honor and serving of the latest status, and Operational Research continues.


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