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Bitcoin (BTC) Extortionists Hit U.S., Canada With Bomb Threats

Canada, U.S. Hit With Waves Of Bitcoin Threats

Over the past 24 hours, businesses and institutions across the nations of Canada and the U.S. have been bombarded with bomb threats, from purported terrorists. According to messages distributed to media outlets, the group(s) sending these threats, issued through the medium of email, are looking for Bitcoin (BTC) in exchange for not decimating places of business, public places, and pertinent landmarks.

One email, obtained by KrebsonSecurity, routed through Bloomberg, claimed that its authors were looking for $200,000 in Bitcoin, an approximate 63 BTC. In another email, which the Cedar Rapids Police Department got its hands on, it was claimed that a man had carried explosives into “the building where your business is conducted.” The latter threat mentioned stipulated a $20,000 worth of BTC extortion.

So interestingly, as the extortion requested, Bitcoin addresses specified, message format, and explosive cited (tetryl, trinitrotoluene, and hexogen) differs from email to email, some assume that this is a coordinated attack from a group, rather than the act of a single individual.

While these extortionists are talking up a big game, no reports indicate that explosives have been planted at places targeted, which are situated all across the aforementioned nations. Yet, in an attempt to preserve the safety of the public, a number of firms and agencies have begun to evacuate their places of work.

A number of subway stations in Toronto, Canada’s largest city, purportedly shut down operations due to the attack, but the whole system seems to be up-and-running. A community hospital in Hillsboro also decided to close up shop, evacuating its building on early Thursday afternoon. Per The Verge, Infinity Ward, the development company behind Call of Duty, had also made a conscious decision to flesh out its offices.

However, authorities have maintained that there isn’t a credible threat. The New York Police Department, for instance, posted an urgent message to its Twitter page, telling its jurisdiction that “NO DEVICES have been found” in the gargantuan urban zone. Representatives from the American Federal Bureau of Intelligence tell Reuters that it is actively looking into the situation.

At the time of writing, no reports indicate that explosions have occurred.

Not The First Time This Has Happened

This isn’t the first time that such a debacle has occurred. As reported by Ethereum World News previously, a series of businesses in Amsterdam were emailed by supposed terrorists. The anonymous terror group, which may or may not be legitimate, threatened businesses with hand grenades and mass shootings if a ransom of 50,000 Euros worth of BTC isn’t paid.

These messages have since been obtained by local Dutch authorities, who reportedly researched into this odd matter. Interestingly, the terrorist’s threatening emails, which a local television station has access to, were first sent to at least three cafes and a local club in May 2018.

Although the threat’s author painted a foreboding picture, the coffee shops targeted have seemingly been unfazed. Maurice Veldman, a local lawyer working on this case of alleged terrorism, claimed that the victimized businesses he has contacted were not impressed by the email, elaborating to local media:

These types of threats are not taken seriously. They are very easy to make. But we have to report this, because coffeeshops signed a covenant with the mayor, which states that they are obliged to report everything related to safety.

Like in the U.S. and Canada, no explosions or attacks have been directly linked to these threatening emails. As noted by Tom Scott, a popular educational Youtuber, more likely than not, these threats are nothing more than a cash grab.

TItle Image Courtesy of Michael Barth on Unsplash

The post Bitcoin (BTC) Extortionists Hit U.S., Canada With Bomb Threats appeared first on Ethereum World News.

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Ethereum Classic Hard Fork Defuses ‘Difficulty Bomb’

The ‘difficulty bomb’ that has been on the minds of all Ethereum Classic users has finally been put to rest after the implementation of a new policy that has been two years in the making.
After a disagreement over how to handle the funds lost in the hack on Ethereum’s smart-contract funding project, the DAO, the Ethereum network forked into two separate versions, with most of the developers going with the version of the blockchain that agreed to rewrite history and return the lost funds.

Ethereum Classic supporters felt that the chain should never be altered, and continued the original Ethereum protocol while the project now called Ethereum switched to Proof of Stake to eliminate mining as a form of validating transactions. A feature was implemented in the chain prior to the fork to reduce mining rewards and incentivize developers to switch to PoS but Ethereum Classic developers have no plans to do so, citing their support of PoW as the most decentralized form of validation.

The difficulty bomb feature would have rendered mining unprofitable, and with no incentive to mine new blocks, the network would have collapsed entirely. Block 6,100,000 was viewed as the last safe block to implement a change before it was too late.

Ethereum Classic developers scheduled a hard fork to include the ECIP-1041 update on block 5,900,000 and yesterday announced the success of the fork, telling CoinDesk that most nodes had already upgraded before the fork took place. Nodes wishing to continue participating will have to upgrade to the new fork as well.

As the fork has been a long time coming it was expected and did not create any noticeable instability or price fluctuation in the Ethereum Classic currency.

The image below taken from GasTracker.io shows the update successfully put in place on block 5,900,000 which was entered into the blockchain yesterday at 18:20 UTC.