'Credible' Email Bomb Threat Shuts Down LA Schools... Sent From 'madbomber@cock.li'

from the that's-credible? dept

As you may have heard, Los Angeles closed all of its public schools today based on a bomb threat that the district deemed to be "credible." Later in the day, New York City's school district announced that it had received the same, or a similar, bomb threat, and had deemed it not credible and kept its schools open. Later in the day, it was reported that the bomb threats appeared to be a hoax.

Now, rather than deeming them "credible" or "not credible" perhaps a better term would be "incredible."

That's because it now appears that both bomb threats were sent from the throwaway email address "madbomber@cock.li." "cock.li" is an anonymous emailer service, whose website I wouldn't necessarily recommend visiting -- especially if you're not a fan of autoplay videos. Either way, the guy who operates cock.li -- Vincent Canfield -- posted to Twitter that both threats were sent via the "meme" emailer, and that he had received subpoenas trying to find out who was behind the "madbomber" account.

Canfield has posted the details of his contact with law enforcement over all of this, including two phone calls with police where he asks about the gag clause in the subpoena and is told that it's a "request" rather than an order. The first phone call was a bit more confrontational.

The releases also include the emails sent by the NYPD:
Good Morning,

Attached is a subpoena requesting subscriber, IP logs and other user information pertaining to a Cock.li email address, which used to send a threatening email to the superintendent of the NYC Public schools. We are requesting that these results be expedited do to the severity of this threat, thank you for your attention in this matter and have a nice day.

Detective Michael Arena

NYPD Intelligence Bureau
It does seem that that New York City made the right call in judging the threats to be non-credible, though a little ridiculous in originally pretending that Canfield was gagged over discussing them. And, it does appear that the LA Unified School District over-reacted in shutting down all of its schools (which it did without even talking to the LAPD) -- though, to some extent, you can understand why such a decision was made.

Still, it seems that a bomb threat coming from "madbomber@cock.li" probably should have raised a few eyebrows...

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  1. icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 16 Dec 2015 @ 3:39am

    Re: What use is the NSA / GCHQ?

    well because we let some program lapse this was able to happen. We need to bring that program back and go even further, otherwise bad things could happen.

    Nothing like portraying current events in any way needed to further the party line.

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