DailyDirt: Swatting Is Not A Harmless Prank
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
What do people like to do with their free time? Most people probably enjoy doing normal things like reading, surfing the web, watching TV, playing sports, or playing video games. And then there are some who apparently like “swatting” — a potentially deadly prank where phone hackers make emergency calls reporting violent crimes, life-threatening hostage situations, etc., while spoofing their caller IDs to make it seem like the calls are coming from their target’s phone number. Unfortunately, for the targeted victims, this means heavily armed police SWAT teams descending on their homes, sometimes breaking down doors and bursting into their homes. Here are a few eye-opening stories about swatting.
- One of the best phone hackers out there might be a guy named “Li’l Hacker,” who happens to be blind and started “phone phreaking” when he was just 14. What started as an “innocent” hobby turned bad when he started associating with a gang of phone hackers led by an ex-con. [url]
- Security reporter Brian Krebs may have been one of the first journalists to have been the target of a swatting. Having reported about hacking crimes for over a decade, Krebs was used to being the target of attacks. His website is frequently disrupted by DDoS attacks. But this time, at least a dozen police officers showed up at his door with pistols, shotguns, and assault rifles pointed at him. [url]
- Even celebrities can’t escape swatting. Victims have included Tom Cruise, Clint Eastwood, Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton, Selena Gomez, Justin Timberlake, Russell Brand, Rihanna, and Chris Brown, just to name a few. [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.
Filed Under: attacks, brian krebs, phone hacks, phreaking, police, prank, swat team, swatting
Comments on “DailyDirt: Swatting Is Not A Harmless Prank”
When you said “Swatting” I assumed something else entirely.
It's only funny...
Not only is it a waste of money, the phrase “it’s only funny until someone gets hurt” is obvious here. Prank calls are funny. Getting your door kicked in by cops isn’t.
Re: It's only funny...
no one does it just for a lighthearted prank. swatting, like doxxing, is done as a message.
Re: Re: It's only funny...
Kinda like, “Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes.”
Re: It's only funny...
It’s only funny…
when it happens to somebody else. Then it’s hilarious! LOL!
Re. Brian Krebs's swatting..
..in an interview, he talked about that swatting incident:
He walked out to the SWAT team, showed them his ID, and said, “You may recall that I was over at your precinct a few weeks ago, and explained that I am a Internet Security Reporter and Researcher, and it’s possible that at some time in the future, you may get a phone call reporting some incident that requires a SWAT team at my home…”
The SWAT team managed to find the office that Brian had spoken to, his story checked out, they went away…
Re: Re. Brian Krebs's swatting..
And an awkward silence was had by all…
I think this says something rather alarming about US law-enforcement. Most places respond to calls like these by dispatching two officers in a patrol car to find out what the hell’s going on before having the tactical team smash someone’s door down.
When your whole culture has for 200 years and still does revolve around world domination and beat the hell out of anyone who disagrees with you it is not surprising that the same attitude is applied to mere private citizens when there is an disagreement.
In Serbia the two officers in a patrol car usually have an AK-47 in the trunk so that if there really is trouble they radio in for back up pull out the AK and go scout out the perimeter. Mind you they only do this when there is a criminal shootout going on. Anything less just gets a call to central and guns unholstered.
This might be the reason why most criminals having a showdown in Serbia prefer to use bombs planted under cars and kidnapping and then shooting in the back of the head somewhere in the wilderness on their opponents.
It is harmless unless your area hires thug swat teams who like to kill.
Yeah, swatting is terrorist action in that it’s insurrectionist action. SWAT teams are resources that are too eagerly used, and can be trained on the innocent, and it’s actually something of the responsibility of rebels and anarchists to exploit this until a better checks-and-balances system is put into place; until then SWAT guys are a tool too easily accessed for the power they wield.
My condolences go out to the victims, and the poor dogs who are undoubtedly getting shot dead as standard procedure.
This is why we need mandatory death sentences for hackers and identity thieves.