Someone Made 400 School Bomb Threats Because They Were Mad About Minecraft

Hundreds of schools across the UK closed today after receiving bomb threats via email. The threats were later discovered to be a hoax tied to a Minecraft server rivalry.

Screenshot: CubeWorks (YouTube)

Over 400 institutions were affected, according to the newspaper Express, which reported that many schools evacuated their students upon receiving the emails threatening bombings.The Northumbria Police department later issued a statement confirming the incident was a hoax. "Detectives have looked into the emails - which appear to originate from the US - and can confirm that there is no viable threat," the department said. Other police departments issued similar statements.

A report by Sky News says the reports were "spoofed" to look like they were coming from VeltPvP, a Minecraft server site, apparently in an attempt to get the site's domain suspended. Sky News also claimed to have spoken to one of the perpetrators of the hoax, who told the outlet they made the threats in retaliation for what they said were DDoS attacks carried out by VeltPvP against other Minecraft sites. Over 24,000 individual emails were sent out as part of the hoax.

A screenshot believed to be of one of the emails sent to schools shows the name of the Minecraft site in the body and includes signature lines in Arabic script. "We have sent in a student with a bomb," read part of the suspected email. "The bomb is set to go off in 3 hours time. If you do not send $5,000 USD to [email protected]"

VeltPvP told Sky News that the DDoS allegations were "completely false", and made additional statements on Twitter earlier today denying any involvement in the bomb threats. "We've been being harassed by a group of cyber criminals that are trying to harass us," it wrote. "We're extremely sorry for anyone who had to deal with this, but just know it's fake."

While many of the reports about the event have called it the result of a rivalry between Minecraft players, the 17-year-old CEO of VeltPvP, Carson Kalle, told Kotaku via email that it is a one-sided fight. "It's not a feud," he wrote, saying that he believes the perpetrator is someone who was banned from VeltPvP in the past.

VeltPvP is a server where different Minecraft players go to set up games and compete against one another. It gets about 100,000 users a day according to Kalle, who told the BBC his site's audience consists primarily of minors under the age of 18. Kalle told Sky News this was not the first time he or his site have been targeted for harassment, including swatting attempts.


Comments

    "17-year-old CEO" Umm, yeah. Why not just put it all out there and call yourself Grand Poobah, or something else equally as impressive sounding?

    Obviously this is more or less the norm for business job titles nowadays, but sheesh... get some perspective wannabe business people.

      Really... a 17 year old kid is running his own business (yeah whether you care about it or not hosting Minecraft servers and raking in ad revenue is a business) and you shit on him? What are you doing with your life except for bitching on Kotaku articles lol?

        Eh he's no answerable to a board of directors and has no subordinate executives so it's not the right thing to call yourself, but whatever. I know a guy who ran his own business and actually put "the chief" under his name...

        Someone Made 400 Downvotes Because They Were Mad About The Time They Misunderstood Corporate Governance

      The kid runs his own buisness. He can call himself what ever he wants.

      Tall poppy syndrome in full effect with you mate.

      Abusing teenagers, You sure are tough,

        What? Yeah he can call himself whatever he wants. I can call myself King of Australia if I want to, doesn't mean anyone else is required to take me seriously.

        According to his website this bloke's company has two staff including himself (listed under their gamer tags no less...). Good on him for having a company at 17 absolutely, but a business kind of needs to have an executive before you can legitimately call yourself Chief Executive Officer. I think it's pretty reasonable to call his title for what it is - self-inflating PR nonsense.

          Yeah, it's a bit overcooked considering he can get away with Managing Director as the owner and operator. I'd rather be known as the MD of my own show than a CEO who is just the #1 company employee.

        Dude, the only Tall Poppy Syndrome in Australia is when used as stock phrase for use by conservative politicians to attack their political opponents, taken from the same phrase book as 'class war' and the like.

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