Pupils across England were evacuated yesterday after an aggrieved gamer sent a hoax email threatening to bomb one of hundreds of schools.
The email, sent to over 400 schools across London, Manchester, Yorkshire, and Lincolnshire, said there was a ‘student with a bomb’ and warned the device would be detonated unless $5,000 was paid.
The police investigated the claim and said they did not believe there was any ‘genuine threat’.
The message appeared to come from the gaming server VeltPvP, an online ‘player-versus-player’ server that allows gamers to compete in the game Minecraft.
However, the US-based company stressed on Twitter they had ‘nothing to do with the bomb threats’. They said they were being harassed by a group of ‘cyber criminals’.
Please ignore any emails that do not originate from veltpvps verified SMTP services.— VeltPvP (@VeltPvP) March 19, 2018
The user was spoofing his email address to make it look like it was coming from our email address.
Here is an example on how email spoofing works:https://t.co/o7tjAJPZYx
A North Yorkshire Police Spokesperson said: ‘Our Cybercrime Unit Detectives, supported by local officers, have looked at these incidents and it is not believed there is any genuine threat.
‘We are working with schools to offer reassurance and address any concerns.’
Humberside Police issued a similar message after a number of schools across East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire received the fake bomb threat.
‘We have been liaising with our counter terrorism colleagues across the country and it is not believed that the threats are credible,’ Det Supt Tony Cockerill said.
‘We have spoken to all schools who have contacted us, reassured them that there is no need to evacuate and offered them security advice.’