Bitcoin and Google Voice helped to make the suspected arrested Thursday for his wave of bomb threats against Jewish Community Centers virtually untraceable over a period of month, as first reported The Daily Beast.
As unfolded other Bitcoin criminals, like the Silk Road’s Ross Ulbricht, one small slip-up led authorities to the possible bomber.
Michael Kaydar, 19, is suspected of phoning in over 100 bomb threats to JCCs and Jewish day schools in 33 states since January. Most of the calls came two weeks ago. Police believe he might have made similar threats in Israel, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
FBI traced Mr. Kaydar’s phone calls back to a service called SpoofCard. The service allows users to mask their caller ID so phone calls come from a anonymous number not tied to nay identity.
Unless the FBi sends the company a subpoena, as happened in this case. The New Jersey-based TelTech handed over the number, which was tied to a disposable Google Voice line used with an alias.
Server logs from TelTech and Google didn’t help, but did demonstrate the suspect routed internet connection through proxy servers overseas. The caller’s voice was anonymous as Spoofcard’s voice changing option made him sound like a woman.
The perpetrator paid for the Spoofcard in Bitcoin.
The bomb threats, amde in six waves, led to evacuations at Jewish centers and day schools.
Ultimately, the bomb “hoaxer” neglected to route his internet through a proxy server, leaving a real IP address from Israel where Kayday allegedly used a giant antenna pointed out a window in his home.
It turns out, he is Jewish, and there’s yet to be a motive. His lawyer said a brain tumor since age 14, which affects his behavior, aqccording to the lawyer.
The U.S. Justice Department has yet to say if Kaydar will face U.S. charges andpossible extradition. Attorney General Jeff Sessions commended the FBI and the Israeli National Police for the arrest.
“The Department of Justice is committed to protecting the civil rights of all Americans,” he said, “and we will not tolerate the targeting of any community in this country on the basis of their religious beliefs.”
Undercover cops and domestic abuse victims to conceal number from an ex use SpoofCard and services like it
In 2007 a gang of hone hackers out of Texas used the service in a “swatting” campaign against their enemies. They would spoof a victim’s phone number, call the police and claim to be holding hostages. Police would storm the victim’s house, guns drawn.
“SpoofCard is aware of the investigation regarding phone-based bomb threats to schools and organizations,” the company wrote in a statement. “We take great pride in the fact that for over 10 years we have helped people protect their privacy and that we have always held a consistent position against any misuse of our services. When requested, we comply quickly and responsibly with lawful requests from all levels of law enforcement, and we have built specific tools to prevent abuse.