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The Online Underworld's Elaborate Prank To Ship Heroin

Cybercriminals are scary, but at least the harm they do is just in cyberspace. So they hack your Twitter, or maybe cause a few zeros to disappear (temporarily) from your bank account. They can't hurt you in any real-world way, right?

Wrong.

Brian Krebs' blog offers a great read about how the cybercrime underworld tried to get the journalist arrested by sending heroin to his home address. Apparently, his anonymous antagonists used the untraceable virtual money called Bitcoin to place the order via Silk Road, an online black market. Twelve packets of white powder soon showed up in his mail.

Luckily, Krebs caught wind of the plot before the shipment arrived, and he called the FBI and local police to go on the record about the conspiracy against him. The best moment comes when the local cop takes his statement, shakes his head, and vows to get "off the Internet and Google."

Yeah, good luck with that.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Martin Kaste is a correspondent on NPR's National Desk. He covers law enforcement and privacy. He has been focused on police and use of force since before the 2014 protests in Ferguson, and that coverage led to the creation of NPR's Criminal Justice Collaborative.