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