Tracking emails

Tracking emails

Following up on courthouse bomb threat investigation.

HOLLIDAYSBURG, BLAIR COUNTY - Hollidaysburg Borough Police will be receiving evidence soon from State Police in the investigation into Wednesday's emailed bomb threats.

Troopers on Friday went around collecting data from several sources-- including here at WTAJ. We were sent two emails Wednesday night that read: "there will be a bomb hidden in the court house. it will go off upon a certain case."

Police said it doesn't matter that there was no actual bomb in the Blair County Courthouse. The threat alone is enough that they are doing everything they can to track down the person responsible.

Angie Keating is C.E.O. of local data security firm Reclamere. While not part of the bomb threat investigation, she's handled similar cases.

"So even if we can go right to your house, that doesn't mean it's you," Keating said. "Putting someone behind the keyboard is always what clients want us to do and it is one of the most challenging things."

The emails sent to WTAJ had an anonymous address-- apparently from a well-known local internet service provider. But, Keating said, some technology can make it look like the email came from just about anywhere.

Friday morning, a State Trooper served a subpoena to the TV station to collect data from our computers. WTAJ Director of Information Technology R.J. Wilson provided them with the source code.

"We have a complete system that tracks everything that comes in the building and out of the building," said Wilson.

Investigators were also working on getting a court order to retrieve data from the local ISP to see if the emails actually came from a legitimate account.

"We are constantly astounded in the forensics world about the the shear stupidity of the human computer user in their belief that they won't get caught," Keating said.

Police said they expect to have new information within the next few days.

We also reached out to the local internet service provider for comments on their potential role in the investigation. We have not yet heard back.

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