nav search
Data Centre Software Security DevOps Business Personal Tech Science Emergent Tech Bootnotes
BOFH
Lectures

back to article
Bloke jailed for trying to blow up UK crypto-cash biz after it failed to reset his account password

Alister
Silver badge

Re: Counter Terrorism Command?

I would suppose that the necessary skills for dealing with bomb attacks fall most easily under the counter terrorism umbrella, rather than any other branch of the law enforcement services.

Pascal Monett
Silver badge

Re: surely trying to kill someone in a business quarrel isn't terrorism?

When the police are alerted to a bomb threat, do you really think that they assume it's not a terrorist ? What reason would they have to do that ?

Knowing how to make a functional, deadly bomb is not something that is common. Hell, actual terrorists have been known to foul it up. So when you do discover a bomb somewhere, your first thought is certainly not "oh, this is just from some bloke who didn't like how the helldesk drone handled his call".

A bomb is terrorism, it is not just violence. Frankly, I think he got off light. He has the skills, and lacks the restraint. I'd have sent him down for the maximum.

Teiwaz
Silver badge

Re: Counter Terrorism Command?

Or have they just bundled bombs 'n white powder 'n stuff in with the Terror-plods for pay-and-rations convenience?

Basically, yes.

Doesn't matter if it doesn't quite fit the profile or intent - 'terror' might get a stiffer sentence, more a pat on the back (or head) to plod.

It's as if they think no one will thank them for catching a random nutcase whose thought processes have gone off the rails it has to be an 'international conspiracy' even if that is a conspiracy of one nutter who happens to live abroad.

Given the chance, some uniformed bod will try to push the more surveillance donation plate on the back of this on any convenient cue in order to further an Orwellian agenda.

Teiwaz
Silver badge

Re: surely trying to kill someone in a business quarrel isn't terrorism?

When the police are alerted to a bomb threat, do you really think that they assume it's not a terrorist ? What reason would they have to do that ?

While I understand where you are coming from, I think you've fallen into an assumption trap that's very the key point of the issue.

That a Bomb in a letter = terrorism

Could as easily be an attempt at a targeted assassination.

While a phone call, even to threaten or claim to have placed a bomb or random member of the public finding one in a bag at a public place could clearly be an attempt to sow terror, rigging one to specifically or attempt to specifically exact retribution by death or maiming is another.

I'm not saying either is at all justified, but blurring the distinction or assumptions due to current popular fears is not helpful.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: surely trying to kill someone in a business quarrel isn't terrorism?

Knowing how to make a functional, deadly bomb is not something that is common. Hell, actual terrorists have been known to foul it up.

Actually, with limited electrical knowledge, it's pretty easy to make all sorts of IEDS. In the cabinet in the garage I have enough bits, tools and "chemicals" to make some interesting explosive devices that while low-yield will be enough to kill anyone close to it, perhaps kill others (eg something that knocks out a car's brakes at a certain speed - fairly easy to do these days with little thought and gadgetry[1]). All you have to do is trigger a switch at the right time, and that switch can then do all sorts of things that can result in death.

An explosive doesn't have to be big to kill. I could probably generate enough force with a single stroke from a bicycle pump to propel an item hard enough to kill someone IF it hits them in the right place, is sharp enough etc. Most people know how to make things ignite and 'explode', and it takes little thought to come up with something small but effective. Many people however go for more complex ideas that require a large number of moving parts or electronics, to be sure they get the person they're after. [2]

A bomb is terrorism, it is not just violence.

No. A bomb is not terrorism, though it may be used by terrorists as part of their plots. However, equating bombs with terrorism could in itself be a form of terrorism, as you're promoting a view that makes people more afraid (ie more 'terrorised') of the world around them and when every little attempt at murder, sabotage etc is called 'an act of terror,' that increases the sense that 'terror is everywhere' and the world is not generally safe. That is what terrorism is; causing people to be afraid.

Use the term as it should be used, don't weaken it by equating some brat having a hissy fit with a group who would rather maim your kids then let you have a peaceful life. By mis-using such words you rob the world of some of its peace.

[1] I was going to suggest something that I have the parts for already (except the actual payload) in generic devices and components (eg relays and electrical wire), but realised that such a comment could fall under "publishing information of interest to terrorists" or somesuch, at which time it could actually be a crime.

[2] For the record, my thoughts come from experience, and my experience involves working with volatile chemicals and compounds and having to know the 5 ways NOT to cause accidental ignition, vs the million ways that guarantee ignition.

A.P. Veening

Re: surely trying to kill someone in a business quarrel isn't terrorism?

"I'd have sent him down for the maximum."

That is exactly what the Swedish judge did, that maximum isn't that high (yet) in peaceful Sweden.

jake
Silver badge

Re: Counter Terrorism Command?

"I would suppose that the necessary skills for dealing with bomb attacks fall most easily under the counter terrorism umbrella, rather than any other branch of the law enforcement services."

Every major city that I am aware of (and quite a few minor ones!) has had a Bomb Squad a lot longer than the current fad of calling anybody who sneezes at the wrong time a "terrorist" has existed.

jake
Silver badge

Re: surely trying to kill someone in a business quarrel isn't terrorism?

"Knowing how to make a functional, deadly bomb is not something that is common."

Not common to know how? Maybe in your nanny state, but not mine ... I just asked the 16 adults currently on the property. All know how. Fortunately, all are sane and will not. I've made and used ANFO (for stump blasting, quite legal). Most of us have set off fireworks. Ever mix vinegar and baking soda? Etc.

Seriously, it's not rocket science. Literally ... rocket science involves making it NOT blow up!

jake
Silver badge

Re: surely trying to kill someone in a business quarrel isn't terrorism?

"A bomb is terrorism, it is not just violence."

No, it's not. It's only terrorism when used to terrorize. Otherwise it's just another tool in the box, albeit a slightly more powerful tool than the average screwdriver.

jake
Silver badge

Re: surely trying to kill someone in a business quarrel isn't terrorism?

"When the police are alerted to a bomb threat, do you really think that they assume it's not a terrorist ? What reason would they have to do that ?"

Because most calls to the Bomb Squad have absolutely nothing to do with so-called "terrorists", that's why. They are called for everything from old, unknown chemicals found in an abandoned barn or warehouse to finding a "practice grenade" in the kit of deceased Uncle Bob to a blasting company finding a box of weeping dynamite to school kids calling in a bomb threat to get out of exams to leaky propane tanks to fuel spills. Basically anything that might, conceivably, explode justifies calling them out. Such calls happen quite regularly in most jurisdictions.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: surely trying to kill someone in a business quarrel isn't terrorism?

Dammit Jake, stop posting stuff I agree with!

I must find some stumps to remove. I haven't played with fun toys since I was a kid on a farm! Thanks for the memories! :)

Maybe city folks with office jobs and severely over-protected childhoods didn't have the same fun growing up we of a more rural persuasion did. Maybe the closest they came to chemistry was perfecting the output of the coffee maker whereas some of us were perfecting safe changes of states of matter (like from solid wood to vapour/powder in 'one all-consuming pillar of fire').

Perhaps city folk just don't get it, how easy it is to make things go boom from stuff you have lying around the house. A can of fly spray and an electric heater with a timer would probably suffice for a demonstration.....

Alister
Silver badge

Re: Counter Terrorism Command?

@jake

Every major city that I am aware of (and quite a few minor ones!) has had a Bomb Squad a lot longer than the current fad of calling anybody who sneezes at the wrong time a "terrorist" has existed.

That may be the case in the US, but it's not in the UK.

Most bomb disposal teams are provided by the armed forces. Individual Police services are unlikely to have EOD abilities, with the exception maybe of the Met.

DropBear
Silver badge

Re: surely trying to kill someone in a business quarrel isn't terrorism?

@jake you left out the one of probably zero relevance to you, but chart-topper for a lot of us here in the Old World - someone digging up yet another late complimentary gift from World War II. It's the only occasion I remember repeatedly reading about in the news, involving the bomb squad (that isn't a suspicious bag discovered somewhere).

WolfFan
Silver badge

Re: surely trying to kill someone in a business quarrel isn't terrorism?

Every time I see 'suspect had bomb-making materials' I sigh.

I have, right now, in my house, the following:

gasoline/petrol

kerosene

foam packing stuff

cooking oil (coconut derived)

cooking oil (olive derived)

cooking oil (other)

potassium permanganate

sulfuric acid

nitric acid

laundry soap (powder)

laundry soap (liquid)

fertiliser (several types)

ammonia

iodine

high-quality paper

hand soap (bar)

hand soap (liquid)

chlorine bleach

a large assortment of insecticides and herbicides

I can, with only a little effort and some glassware, make the following items using the above:

nitrocellulose

nitroglycerin

TNT

napalm

several different plastic explosives

at least three different nerve agents

mustard gas

phosgene

and more. Making a bomb would merely require packing some explosive into a container with/without extras to generate fragmentation, plus a timer (a clock or a watch; I've got those, too) or a remote detonator (a cell phone; those could be set to alarm and function as timers, too). Most of the explosive creation methods would be easily in the reach of anyone who has passed high school chemistry. Making sarin or napalm or nitroglycerin is easy, and making TNT or plastic explosives isn't that hard. Look up PETN and/or RDX. (Bad idea if you're actually intending to blow something up, unless you use someone else's account to do the looking up.) (PETN is derived from 19th century chemistry; it's trivial to make today.)

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: surely trying to kill someone in a business quarrel isn't terrorism?

Every time I see 'suspect had bomb-making materials' I sigh.

I have, right now, in my house, the following:

Ok, you got me... I'm the AC who backed away because of worried about "interest to terrorists".

On the electronics side, for a semi-remote detonator. A small GPS unit, mounted to the car with double sided tape or magnets. The audio output goes to a relay or other electronic switching device. Using custom sound files, you can cause the switch to be triggered with a number of events.[1]

I'm sure bluetooth pairing could also have interesting uses.

[1] Thoughts here come from building circuits that need to take a very small very short duration pulse and switch a much larger circuit, while using as few electronic components as possible

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

sent a functional explosive device in a padded envelope

... expecting a refund in return?!

p.s. yeah, yeah, I know, it blew in his face, aka misfired, whateva!

regbadgerer

Which is the nutter?

It says a lot about the modern world that I read this story, and couldn't help but think that of the two, the nutter was the person who opened the envelope from the middle. Bomb makers seem to be so commonplace that they hardly count as nutters any more.

And on the subject of opening an envelope from the middle - who does that!? How do you even do that without ripping the contents...?

jake
Silver badge

Re: Which is the nutter?

Ask AvE ...

Nick Sticks

You should see what he did....

.... to the company who delivered his pizza late.

Boohoo4u

Names

More than one London and Paris?

Next you cheeky bastards are going to tell me there is more than one Main Street...

adam payne
Silver badge

"Salonen seemingly made and sent a device that had the capability to seriously harm and even kill over something as inconsequential as a change of password.

I've know a fair number of inpatient people that would get pissy about the security policies surrounding password resets but yikes!

jake
Silver badge

"I've know a fair number of inpatient people that would get pissy about the security policies surrounding password resets but yikes!"

Good thing they were inpatients, then. I'd hate for them to be out and about on their own if something that small can set them off.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

I gotta ask.. Did you actually mean to type "inpatient" (as in the patients in the nut house, or those who should be), or did you mean impatient?

Either way works well :)

RedCardinal

>>A 43-year-old fella

Not a geezer then? I'm disappointed...

Prst. V.Jeltz
Silver badge
Trollface

Typical Crypto currency customer .....

Thats why they gone as far as actually suggesting other customers dont send bombs on their site.

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

The Register - Independent news and views for the tech community. Part of Situation Publishing