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
STEPN to Bar 'Move-to-Earn' for China-Based Users in July

The crypto rewards game's GMT token has fallen 38% in the last 24 hours, according to CoinGecko.

The crypto rewards game's GMT token has fallen 38% in the last 24 hours, according to CoinGecko.

CoinDesk - Unknown
2
CoinDesk - Unknown
As the Market Slinks Down, It's Time to Touch Grass

A look at FOMC meeting minutes and other macro indicators.

A look at FOMC meeting minutes and other macro indicators.

CoinDesk - Unknown
3
CoinDesk - Unknown
Market Wrap: Cryptos Down, Stocks Up; Altcoins Underperform

BTC was roughly flat over the past 24 hours, compared with a 6% decline in ETH and a 2% rise in the S&P 500.

BTC was roughly flat over the past 24 hours, compared with a 6% decline in ETH and a 2% rise in the S&P 500.

CoinDesk - Unknown
4
CoinDesk - Unknown
Kevin McCoy: The Metaverse Is Going to Be Powered by Game Engines

The digital artist, who minted the first NFT ever, compares the metaverse of today to the watershed moment when Nintendo launched Mario Bros in 1985.

The digital artist, who minted the first NFT ever, compares the metaverse of today to the watershed moment when Nintendo launched Mario Bros in 1985.

CoinDesk - Unknown