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A screenshot of today’s Bitcoin bomb threat email. AppRiver

Penn State and Lancaster-Lebanon IU 13 were among the Pennsylvania institutions to face bomb threats today, according to reports by Onward State and the Lebanon Daily News.

IU 13 executive director Brian Barnhart told the Daily News, “While we deem it to be rather benign, the safety of our children and staff is paramount to us at IU 13, so we took all necessary precautions and evacuated the building and notified first responders.”

Identical bomb threats were received by dozens of places across the country, with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives posting this message about the situation:

The Verge reported that not all of the messages contained the same Bitcoin wallet identifier, apparently a common practice for this type of scam known as “ransomware” in the security business.

According to the firm AppRiver which specializes in information security, the attack appeared to originate from Russia.

Other recipients of the email in Pennsylvania have been reported in towns including Levittown, Philly, Lancaster, and York.


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