Bulgaria: New Bomb Threat at a School in Sofia

Society » INCIDENTS | March 28, 2023, Tuesday // 09:24
Bulgaria: Bulgaria: New Bomb Threat at a School in Sofia

A new bomb threat was made this morning at the 22nd school in Sofia. The learning process has been suspended.

"The signal was received at 6:30 a.m. in the 4th Police Precinct of the Ministry of the Interior. From there, they reacted immediately and contacted us. I came here. Thank God, there were still almost no children - ten had come for the first shift. We put out a message on the school's online platform to the parents and students. The police did a thorough search. They found nothing, but for the safety of the children, I have decided that we will lock down the school for 24 hours today. There will be no learning process. There was supposed to be a parent-teacher conference tonight. It has been canceled." said Elena Karpacheva, director of the 22nd Sofia School.

The signal was given by a male voice. This is the first such signal in the 22nd school for almost 10 years, added Elena Karpacheva.

нов сигнал бомба столично училище

Cybersecurity expert Yavor Kolev: The purpose of bomb threats in schools is to cause panic and fear

Yesterday, bomb signals were received in dozens of educational institutions in Sofia, Varna and Burgas. The threats were sent by email on behalf of Yegor Sinyansky and an unknown organization.

The IP address of the sender is known, as it has been established that he is not Bulgarian. On its Telegram channel, the organization that sent the emails proclaims hatred against humanity and children. This is an unprecedented hacker attack.

Cyberexpert: Probably a student from Burgas is behind the bomb threats

Security expert Georgi Balev said that he does not define the case as a hacker attack, since no damage was done. "We're seeing the sending of a mass message, which is where the whole problem comes from. It's quite easy to make an email and get it down in such a way that you don't know who the sender is. The email system was created in the 1970s and the way tracking doesn't help us much these days. You can't find out who sent the emails, it's very easy to create a server from where messages can be sent from anywhere in the world," he said. And he adds that the author of the bomb threats is probably a depressed person, still a student.

"He wanted to feel stronger, for him the world is the school, that's why he sent emails to schools. He is probably from Burgas, because on his Telegram channel he uses Burgas media, which only Burgasians use. For me, this is a person who is in Bulgaria, in Burgas," said the expert.

According to Plamen Petkov, one of the ways to find out who sent it is to use a virtual private network or VPN - which also masks the geolocation of the address from which it is sent. "Through it, even if you are in Burgas, at the given moment it can show that you are in the Netherlands. Every email has an IP address that authenticates the identity. The purpose of the VPN is to change this identity so that it is not known who the person behind it is," he explained.

Cyberexpert on bomb threats to schools: They are not customized to Bulgarian institutions

"The bomb threats were received at the schools' service mailboxes. These are sent to email addresses from public email providers. This in itself is a problem for institutions such as schools, as they cannot benefit from all the protections that an office mailbox would provide." This comment was made in an interview with the National Radio by Lyubomir Tulev, an expert in cyber security, a former employee of the Main Directorate "Fighting Organized Crime".

A large part of the websites of the schools were made as in a lesson on "Labor and technology", noted the expert. In his words, "the totality of all these elements leads to not having a great degree of security".

The directors did well, despite the initial impression that "it's like just a storm in a teacup," Tulev pointed out.

The expert explained that there are "indicators, hooks" that can be used to assess whether the threat is real or not.

The email is signed with a link to a Telegram channel, anyone can log into this public chat provider and see the profile in question. Messages are in English. It is clear that the emails were written through Google Translate, and the threats were addressed to several countries, Lyubomir Tulev described the scheme.

"We can conclude that this is not something customized to the Bulgarian institutions, but an attempt to test. The reaction is being tested."

The expert finds no connection with the upcoming parliamentary elections in Bulgaria.

Tulev defined as speculations the thesis of a connection with Russia because of the given name of the sender - Yegor Sinyansky, and said that this is "like looking for Ivan Ivanov in Bulgaria".

"As if the name points to a Russian trail, but that could be faked."

"They use Gmail. If they were really serious players, they would use other, much more hidden mail providers," the cyber expert emphasized.

Lyubomir Tulev predicted that it would hardly be possible to reach a real conclusion and to find this person.

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