A teenager thought to be at the centre of a Minecraft gamers feud has been arrested after a mass bomb hoax closed hundreds of schools and colleges across the UK.
The 19-year-old was arrested by Hertfordshire police after some 24,000 threatening emails were sent to schools warning of an impending bomb attack unless cash was handed over.
The emails were spoofed to look as if they had been sent by a gaming network called VeltPvP. VeltPvP is a Minecraft player-versus-player server, of the type that businesses use to sell products to gamers.
A teenager thought to be at the centre of a Minecraft gamers feud has been arrested after a mass bomb hoax closed hundreds of schools across the UK. The 19-year-old was arrested by Hertfordshire police after 24,000 emails were sent to schools warning of an impending attack
The emails were intended to cause the domain to be suspended for abuse – and are thought to have been sent by a group aiming to discredit VeltPvP.
The National Crime Agency (NCA) said there was ‘no credible threat to the emails’ received this week.
They said in a statement: ‘We understand parents’ and teachers’ concerns but stress there was no credible threat to the emails schools received.
‘However we are taking the communications extremely seriously. As this is a live investigation we are unable to comment further.’
Signs were put up outside Cardinal Road School in Feltham following the bomb hoax emails
Those involved in the feud claimed opponents had engaged in illegal activities in order to hinder one another’s business.
‘It is horrible, it’s not the nicest thing,’ one of hoaxers involved said when asked whether he regretted the effect the letters had had on school children forced to evacuated.
Placing the blame on VeltPvP, the hoaxer said the network had enaged in a campaign of Direct Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks – which he alleges were used to try and shut down other rival Minecraft servers.
Parents were asked to collect their children following the bomb hoax threat email
In a statement, VeltPvP said: ‘We’ve been being harassed by a group of cybercriminals that are trying to harass us in any way possible.
‘We’re extremely sorry for anyone who had to deal with this, but just know it’s fake.’
More than 400 schools and colleges across the country received the email which claimed a bomb had been planted and would be detonated if cash wasn’t handed over.
Cardinal Road School in Feltham, west London, was among the schools sent the hoax email
Police forces in London, Bristol, Liverpool, Bedfordshire and the the North East were among those investigating.
Parents at some schools asked to be able to pick their children up amid fears over the emails.
While six schools across Hertfordshire were also among those affected: Abbots Hill in Hemel Hempstead, Valley School in Stevenage, The Sele School in Hertford, Duncombe School in Hertford, Stanborough School in Watford and St Albans High School.
Sorry we are not currently accepting comments on this article.