Two private schools in Brooklyn have been sent similar messages online from what is believed to be a malicious bot threatening to “shoot up the school."
Patch reports that Park Slope school Berkeley Carroll received the threat on Tuesday and Brooklyn Friends School received a similar threat Wednesday morning, prompting the school to beef up security.
The NYPD said Brooklyn Friends School was sent a message via its Instagram account from someone threatening to "shoot up the school.” A representative from the school told Patch that the message posed a "safety threat to our community,” but said the NYPD told the school a malicious bot was at the bottom of it.
"The threatening message mirrored, almost identically, a message received on Tuesday by one of our neighboring schools, Berkeley Carroll,” they said.
"The BFS Director of Security was in immediate contact with the NYPD, which confirmed that the cyber threat was generated by a computer 'bot.'"
The NYPD would not confirm if the threats were generated by a bot, but said the Brooklyn Friends incident was "under investigation."
A parent of a Berkeley Carroll student told Patch that he hoped the threat was sent by "a Russian troublemaker following the Putin playbook of terrorizing America." He said the account the threat was sent from featured Cyrillic writing.
However, he said the message was still alarming and "immediately triggers soul-freezing memories of the Sandy Hook mass shooting."