Spate of Bitcoin Extortion Bomb Threats Hits Government, Schools in Japan

The extortionists demand a payment in bitcoin to avoid the detonation of an explosive device, per a report.

Oct 12, 2020 at 10:20 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:07 a.m. UTC

Local government premises in Japan have been hit by a flood of extortion attempts demanding bitcoin in recent months.

  • According to a report by Japan Today on Monday, such threats have been received in at least 18 prefectures since July.
  • The extortionists demand a payment in bitcoin to avoid the detonation of an explosive device, per the report.
  • Austria has also suffered a spate of similar bomb threats, as CoinDesk reported back in August.
  • Japan Post said city halls or schools have been the subject of the threats, receiving an email demanding varying amounts of bitcoin.
  • In one case, in Yamagata City, the demand was for 40 bitcoin, worth over $454,000 at time of writing.
  • The cases in Austria were demanding about $20,000 in bitcoin; prices were at slightly higher levels around $11,700 per bitcoin at the time.
  • None of the Japanese victims have paid the extortionists, per Japan Today.
  • Rather than choose major metropolitan centers, the attackers seem to be targeting local governments in rural areas, such as Sanjo, Niigata Prefecture; Tara, Saga Prefecture; and Minami, Tokushima Prefecture, among others.
  • The report theorizes the extortion attempts are coming from outside of Japan, though there seems to be no evidence to back up the claim.
The Festival for the Decentralized World
Thursday - Sunday, June 9-12, 2022
Austin, Texas
Save a Seat Now

DISCLOSURE

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Trending

1
CoinDesk - Unknown
5 Key Takeaways From a16z's State of Crypto Report

The venture firm is extremely bullish on Web 3.

The venture firm is extremely bullish on Web 3.

CoinDesk - Unknown
2
CoinDesk - Unknown
Regulators Are Paying Attention to UST

The collapse of terraUSD (UST) is algorithmic stablecoins’ Libra moment.

The collapse of terraUSD (UST) is algorithmic stablecoins’ Libra moment.

CoinDesk - Unknown
3
CoinDesk - Unknown
San Francisco NFL Player Alex Barrett Taking His Salary in Bitcoin

The most valuable crypto stories for Thursday, May 20, 2022.

The most valuable crypto stories for Thursday, May 20, 2022.

CoinDesk - Unknown
4
CoinDesk - Unknown
Justin Sun Still Thinks Algorithmic Stablecoins Are a Good Idea

The crypto mogul also said LUNA and UST might make good "meme coins," he said on CoinDesk TV’s “First Mover.”

The crypto mogul also said LUNA and UST might make good "meme coins," he said on CoinDesk TV’s “First Mover.”

CoinDesk - Unknown