Over 400 U.K. schools were forced to close temporarily following a series of bomb threats sent via email by a Minecraft player. Police concluded that there was likely no viable threat to any of the schools in question, and the schools were given additional security advice following the incident. The threatening emails were staged to look like they were from VeltPvP, a Minecraft server site. VeltPvP issued a statement following the events stating that it had no involvement in the threats.
The emails said that a student was sent to the school with a bomb, and the sender demanded that $5,000 be sent to “[email protected]” or the bombs would go off. According to Sky News, who supposedly spoke with one of the perpetrators of the hoax, the threats were in retaliation to alleged DDoS attacks committed by VeltPvP against other Minecraft sites. 17-year-old VeltPvP CEO, Carson Kalle, told Sky News that the DDoS allegations were completely false, and took to Twitter to further deny involvement with the emails.
We have nothing to do with the bomb threats that were sent out to the 400+ UK schools.
We've been being harassed by a group of cyber criminals that are trying to harass us in anyway possible.
We're extremely sorry for anyone who had to deal with this, but just know it's fake.
— VeltPvP (@VeltPvP) March 19, 2018
VeltPvP is a server where Minecraft players compete head-to-head, where the playerbase is primarily minors under the age of 18, according to Kalle. The server sees approximately 100,000 users per day looking to face off against one-another.
A threat of this level is certainly uncommon in the gaming community. Usually police involvement is centered around swatting, where someone calls in a threat to get police to raid a specific address. The practice is usually used against streamers who are live at the time, like Dr. DisRespect, who was the victim of a swatting raid last week.
Fortunately, no one was harmed during this incident, but the severity of this act is still alarming. It is disturbing to see what lengths people will go to over a Minecraft feud. Hopefully this was a one-time occurrence, and will not happen again in the future.