Cybercriminals are giving Bitcoin a bad name. Starting with hacking attempts, criminals have been trying to extort money from unsuspecting individuals and businesses by infecting their computers with ransomware or blackmailing them with ill-gotten confidential information. The ransom demand, in Bitcoin payments, is a common thread that unites all these threats.
Deviating from standard operating procedures followed by hackers, an unknown individual or a group of individuals are holding a Ukrainian mall for ransom. The Roksolana Shopping Center located at the Cathedral Square, Lviv has been receiving bomb threats from anonymous sources repeatedly. These threats have already forced the shopping center to conduct four mass evacuations of shoppers in the middle of the holiday season.
Following multiple hoax threats, the criminal is said to have demanded a ransom of 200 BTC ($189,400) from the mall authorities to stop issuing such threats. He has threatened to force evacuation until the end of holiday season if the mall fails to pay the ransom amount. The threats are currently being investigated by the law enforcement authorities. However, they are yet to make a breakthrough.
This is not the first time; a shopping center has received an anonymous bomb threat. Lviv region alone has so far received over 60 such threats this year, reports a Ukrainian news portal. Even though the shopping center and law enforcement authorities are convinced that the messages are a hoax, they can’t ignore them. Whenever such message is received, they have to evacuate the building, conduct a thorough search to ensure the safety of people. Only after a careful inspection, the building will be opened for business.
Every time, the criminal sends a bomb threat, the malls will be temporarily shut down, affecting the business. It will also end up cause panic among the people, keeping them away from shopping centers. The Ukrainian mall has made it clear that it will not be paying the 200 BTC ransom or negotiate with the perpetrator responsible for the threats. Whether the criminal will stand by his words or not, is to be seen.
Ref: Tvoemisto | Image: NewsBTC