A German parcel bomber has demanded a €10 mln ransom to be paid in the form of leading cryptocurrency Bitcoin. On Dec. 8, 2017 the bomber sent a message to a pharmacy next to the Potsdam Christmas market through the global delivery company DHL to demand the ransom.
The parcel bomb, which contains a QR code for depositing the Bitcoins, as well as explosive powder from Polish fireworks, nails, and screws, allegedly made a strange hissing sound when it was opened by a pharmacist. Fortunately the bomb failed to detonate. The incident, however, forced the evacuation of the entire Christmas market.
Police action on the incident
The German police are already investigating and looking for possible witnesses in this latest case of bomb threat and extortion. They believe that the package bomb was dropped off at the local packing station in Potsdam. They’re already searching for suspects in and around Berlin, as well as in the Brandenburg state.
The entire police force across Germany is on high alert as similar cases are expected to be uncovered in the near future. The police have advised the general public to remain vigilant at all times and handle unexpected packages with utmost caution. They stressed that all suspicious packages should not be opened but rather that people notify the police immediately.
A modus operandi?
The use of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin as a preferred payment method seems to be a part of the modus operandi of the blackmailers in Germany, as there have been similar incidents recorded in the past. One of the latest high profile cases is the infamous WannaCry Ransomware that affected the railway company Deutsche Bahn.
The malware encrypted data on the computers of the company and cyber criminals demanded a ransom of $300 - $600 to restore access.