Police say bomb threats were a cyber hoax

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) – The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) on Thursday said that it has concluded that the bomb threats that affected more than 100 schools last Friday can be “classified as a cyber ‘hoax”.

The bomb threats forced the evacuation of buildings and the early closure of educational institutions across the oil-rich twin island republic

In a statement, the TTPS said that over 50 primary and secondary schools throughout Trinidad and Tobago received a “bomb threat” via e-mail last Friday and that officers from all 10 police divisions, along with teams from the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the Cyber Crime Unit and the Explosive Devices Unit were involved in conducting searches rand that “no explosive devices were found.

“The TTPS under the supervision of DCP Intelligence and Investigation Curt Simon, the Cyber Unit as well as the RAU made an assessment of the situation, and concluded that the threats could be classified as a cyber ‘hoax.’”

It said “further investigations were conducted which necessitated communication with our international partners” and that the “TTPS was able to identify that the server used is based in Germany and the ‘resolve host’ of the email is situated in Cyprus.”

“Additionally, two Virtual Private Networks (VPN), located in Switzerland and Panama were used to further mask the identity of the origin of the email. Investigations also indicate that the email came from an anonymous mail service provider,” the TTPS added.

“Locating the anonymous email service provider is key to this investigation. However, this is a complex process and the anonymous email and anonymous email server can remain hidden by utilizing a number of Dark web tools.”

The TTPS says it “remains resolute in its efforts to identify the source of the email threats,” adding “we will continue to partner with international/cross border cyber experts who will work alongside our local experts and telecom providers.”

Last Friday, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley described as a “wanton criminal action” the bomb threats saying that “many parents and our children were terrorized, and the education system disrupted by the wanton criminal action of one or a few who do not wish this country well.”

He said then that “this evil action of organised bomb threats only serves to demonstrate how vulnerable we all are to the wiles of those who would harm us,” adding “I condemn, in the strongest terms, these actions which are clearly meant to disrupt the country even as others set out to destabilise the society.”


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