Blackmailers to Czech Republic: Give Us Bitcoin or We Give You Ebola
In one of the most sinister Bitcoin-related blackmail schemes to date, an as yet unidentified group of individuals has threatened to spread Ebola in the Czech Republic unless their ransom demand of one million euros in Bitcoin is met.
It reads like a Tom Clancy novel or an episode of 24, but in this case, the truth is most definitely stranger than fiction. Capitalizing on the current global Ebola threat, the blackmailers sent an e-mail to the country’s top commercial TV station, TV Nova, on Monday. Claiming to have acquired “biological material” from an infected patient in Liberia, they are threatening to spread the virus in public areas unless they receive one million euros’ worth of Bitcoin (~3,550 BTC at current market prices). They have also demanded that the Bitcoin ransom be payable in three installments.
In a press conference on Monday, the country’s Deputy Police Chief Zdenek Ladube confirmed the threat stating, “An unknown perpetrator or perpetrators are blackmailing this state, threatening to spread the Ebola virus.”
"From the very beginning these culprits have been seeking to spread panic, which is their primary goal," he added.
The Czech Republic’s interior ministry issued a public statement in which they said that “the culprit or culprits are using very sophisticated communication methods." They did not elaborate on what those methods might be.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka voiced his opinion as well, calling the blackmailers “hyenas” for taking advantage of the fear caused by the recent Ebola threat.
There have been recent reports of four patients in the country who were hospitalized after displaying Ebola-like symptoms. None of the patients has actually tested positive for the virus, however.
Local officials are calling on the population to stay calm, with Chief public health officer Vladimir Valenta assuring them that the deadly virus, which has already killed...