An 18-year-old Israeli-American hacker accused of phoning in hundreds of false bomb threats to Jewish institutions around the world essentially worked as a bomb-threatener for hire, allowing his clients to pay for his services in bitcoin, police told Channel 2 on Saturday.
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According to Channel 2's report, police suspect that in at least one case a student in the U.S. contacted Michael Ron David Kadar in order to get out of a test scheduled for that same day. The Israeli-American then phoned in a threat that saw the school evacuated.
The new revelation would partially explain the bitcoin account owned by Kadar, worth nearly two million shekels. A large bulk of this sum was also allegedly made selling fake documents on the dark web, including passports, I.D.s and visas. Police also believe Kadar sold drugs online and may have hacked businesses in return for bitcoin payments.
A month after his arrest in Israel, Michael Ron David Kadar was charged with 28 counts of making threatening calls and conveying false information to police, according to the indictment filed Friday in federal court in Orlando.
Online federal court records in Florida showed no attorney listed for Kadar.
At the time of his arrest last month, his lawyer in Israel said Kadar had a "very serious medical condition" that might have affected his behavior. She said the condition had prevented him from attending elementary school, high school or enlisting in the army, which is compulsory for most Jewish citizens.
The Florida indictment said that Kadar made 245 threatening calls, most of them to Jewish community centers and schools, from January to March, using an online calling service that disguised his voice and allowed him to hide his identity. He recorded each of the calls himself and kept them in organized files at his home in Ashkelon, Israel, along with news articles describing the police responses to the threats, the indictment said.
He also paid for the online calls using the semi-anonymous currency Bitcoin. A large antenna at his apartment building allowed him to make long-distance, outdoor wireless connections, the indictment said.
The Florida indictment said recordings of the calls stripped of the software-enabled disguise revealed a speech impediment in the caller's voice that matched Kadar's.