North Macedonia Says Bomb Threats Come From Russia, Crypto Used to Hide Origin
The government of North Macedonia believes that an ongoing wave of false bomb threats against public targets in the country is coming from Russia and Iran. The authorities in Skopje also say that payments related to the attacks have been made with cryptocurrency to conceal traces.
Over 700 Facilities Targeted With Bomb Threats in North Macedonia, Attackers Used Crypto
The Balkan nation of North Macedonia has been receiving bomb threats, allegedly from Russia and Iran, according to a statement by a top government official. On Monday, Interior Minister Oliver Spasovski said that authorities are working hard to keep the country’s security systems safe.
“This is an intense hybrid attack that has targeted more than 720 facilities since Oct. 19,” Spasovski revealed. Quoted by Turkey’s Anadolu Agency, he pointed out that a few of these cases have been resolved already. “We now have an isolated group and the case is being worked on,” Spasovski added, detailing:
In recent days, emails have been sent from addresses in Iran and Russia, and payments to VPN [virtual private network] services made by cryptocurrencies, which makes tracking difficult.
North Macedonia, Serbia, and neighboring Montenegro have seen numerous bomb threats since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, last year. So far, all of them have proved to be false alarms.
Over the past two months, shopping malls and other public buildings have been the main target of such threats with work and education often grounding to a halt for days, the report noted.
Serbian authorities have claimed that the foreign intelligence services of Ukraine and an unidentified member state of the European Union were behind the threats. Russia and Iran are yet to comment on the allegations.
Both sides in the Russia-Ukraine war have used cryptocurrencies to fund their military efforts. According to a report published by the blockchain forensics firm Elliptic on the first anniversary of the conflict, Ukrainian supports have sent at least $212 million in crypto donations while pro-Russian groups have raised close to $5 million in digital assets.
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