Unexpected New Years SMS From Mobile Operator May Have Killed Would Be Suicide Bomber

from the happy-new-year! dept

This is just classic. We've heard plenty of stories about bombs that are designed to go off when an SMS text message is received... and we know all too well about annoying and unwanted text messages from your mobile operator. But how about combining the two. Apparently, a planned suicide bombing in Russia was "averted" when the bomb went off early due to an unexpected "happy new years" SMS from the carrier, blowing up the bomb and the would-be suicide bomber at a safe house, far away from Red Square (or anything else) that was the intended target. As Wired notes:
If true, the SMS might be the only time that a wireless carrier’s SMS message has ever been useful.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    icon
    LeBazz (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 7:54am

    WOW some people are dumb !

    I can't understand why someone would use such an unsecure channel to detonate a bomb ! Once armed, one can not even approach his device, with no way to deactivate it !! Russian Roulette with a bigger BOOM I guess !! :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 8:15am

    Preventative medicine

    Perhaps a global short sms message from ISP's to all their customers every five minutes or so would eliminate using cell phones + sms messaging as triggers for bombs. It would be irritating for sure as your phone would beep every 5 minutes, 24 hours a day! But it would make us "safer"... :-)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Hephaestus (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 8:32am

      Re: Preventative medicine

      Just make it a random SMS every so often.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Jason, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 8:45am

      Re: Preventative medicine

      Just make it a random time frame after a phone has been opened and then turned back on.

      "You are back online - unless you're a bomber"

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Seth (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 9:23am

      Re: Preventative medicine

      Don't give them any ideas.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Terranaut, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 9:38am

      Re: Preventative medicine

      Then the recipients could be billed for excess messages. Hmmm, good idea.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      CommentCritic (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:23am

      Re: Preventative medicine

      Have you lost your mind? Yea, ok lets just annoy a couple of billion people 12 times an hour just to deny a handful of terrorist cheap bomb triggers......GOOD PLAN! p.s. I registered at this site today for the sole reason to comment on your dumbass comment :-)

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:30am

        Re: Re: Preventative medicine

        sar·casm
           /ˈsɑrkęzəm/ [sahr-kaz-uhm]
        –noun
        1.
        harsh or bitter derision or irony.
        2.
        a sharply ironical taunt; sneering or cutting remark: a review full of sarcasms.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Boob, Jan 29th, 2011 @ 6:32am

        Re: Re: Preventative medicine

        What if you created Random SMS zones around airports, stadiums?

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Richard (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 4:47pm

      Re: Preventative medicine

      Perhaps a global short sms message from ISP's to all their customers every five minutes or so would eliminate using cell phones

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    John Doe, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 8:23am

    There will be an app for that

    If SMS becomes to unsafe for terrorists, we can expect to see apps for triggering bombs. Wonder if Apple would approve of that?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      MrWilson, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 8:41am

      Re: There will be an app for that

      As long as it's not a porn app or competes with an app Apple is already working on...

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        TheStupidOne, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 9:57am

        Re: Re: There will be an app for that

        I think apple has a detonator app they they are building into the next release of iOS. Of course it only detonates the tiny charge in the phone that will destroy the phone and scare the user. It apparently goes off in response to jailbreaking attempts.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      xs (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 11:21am

      Re: There will be an app for that

      It will be on Cydia.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 8:32am

    Wasn't there just an episode of "Bones" that was similar to that?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    fogbugzd (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 8:36am

    Add to checklist

    Suicide bombers should add this to their checklist:
    ___ Leave phone turned off until bomb is in place.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Michael, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 8:39am

    Suicide Bomber

    Why would a suicide bomber need a remote trigger?
    Wouldn't a button have been a more reliable solution?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      :Lobo Santo (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 8:41am

      Re: Suicide Bomber

      Usually, the person wearing the bomb is not the one to detonate it.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 8:52am

      Re: Suicide Bomber

      Why? Because they couldn't trust the bomber to detonate it herself. Maybe she wasn't fully cooperative with the idea of blowing herself up.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Michael, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 9:09am

        Re: Re: Suicide Bomber

        Bomber: I will not blow myself up!

        Handler: Ok, I understand. Would you wear this backpack and go find a spot in this crowded train station with cellular reception?

        Bomber: Ok, that I will do.

        Handler: Great! Hold on, I just need to adjust this antenna.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:02am

      Re: Suicide Bomber

      There is a button that the suicide bomber has, it's called a dead man's switch. Normally a remote trigger is also attached in case the suicide bomber changes his mind at the last second, the bomb can still be detonated.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      roland985 (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 4:46pm

      Re: Suicide Bomber

      Or, if one HAD to use a mobile phone, at least use some long twine to pull a wire out from range to deactivate the thing...

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 8:41am

    !!

    That'll teach them to build in a safety-engage circuit to avoid false positives prior to the intended trigger period.

    Hmmph. Amateurs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Darryl, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 8:44am

    Yea right, like that really happened !!

    sorry, but WHO would be SPUPID enough to have a mobile phone wired to a bomb and will go off if you receive a SMS message.

    And LEAVE THE FREAKING THING TURNED ON !!!!.

    BTW: suicide bombers do not need remote triggers, they just push a button.

    What is he intending to SMS himself ?

    Something smells here, and I think its the truth !!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Berenerd (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 8:55am

      Re: Yea right, like that really happened !!

      People can get second thoughts about killing themselves...much more reliable to have someone else blow the bomb that is attached to someone else, though yes, you would think they would leave it off until they got to the site atleast.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Yogi, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 9:16am

      Re: Yea right, like that really happened !!

      Who would be stupid enough? Why, the same person stupid enough (and cruel enough and twisted enough) to commit mass murder.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      mrtraver (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 12:37pm

      Re: Yea right, like that really happened !!

      If it isn't true, it should be.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    AR (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 9:14am

    Not rocket scientists

    Keep in mind these arent the brightest bulbs in the box. When they get a working model its not like their gong to go back and tell someone it worked properly. Just keep sending SMS messages eventually they might get the hint. Kind of like when they throw grenades, you just pull the pin and throw it back and you surely dont tell their friends about it.
    /sarc

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Ron (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 9:37am

    Darwin

    Serves the f*cker right!

    We should expect to see this guy near the top of the 2011 Darwin Awards

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    ExceptionHandler, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 9:49am

    A smarter way to use SMS

    Only detonate when a properly formed SMS is sent... ie a passcode trigger sent via SMS...

    Oh well.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      fogbugzd (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:04am

      Re: A smarter way to use SMS

      >>Only detonate when a properly formed SMS is sent... ie a passcode trigger sent via SMS...

      Their method is usually much cruder than this. What they used to do was just open the phone and wire across the speaker terminals. When the phone rings, the bomb goes off. I am guessing they are not much more sophisticated than that now. They are probably using cheap phones that can be purchased anywhere; they are not likely to be using an iPhone or other sophisticated smart phone.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Jaqenn, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:00am

    When I got my first cellphone (I was a late adopter, because I was cheap), I was pretty happy with it.

    I then went with a friend to try flying two-string kites, which are lots of fun and extremely hard to keep from crashing into the ground when you don't know what you're doing. Keeping it airborne requires careful use of both hands.

    So I'm struggling to not wreck my friends kite when my phone starts ringing, and I do this elaborate contortion to try to de-pocket my phone and see what's up with it while keeping the kite in check, and it was...

    ...an SMS spam.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    AR (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:02am

    New idea for H.S.

    Keep the suspects on speed dial. If you think ther getting close, give then a call or send them a text that says "Whatcha doin?"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Qritiqal (profile), Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:24am

    sms filter?

    Perhaps carriers should filter out any SMS messages that say "BOOM"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    BBT, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 10:26am

    As a slashdot commenter said:

    "In Soviet Russia, spam deletes YOU."

    Now we can all look forward to our government banning anti-spam measures because spam is now a terrorism-fighting tool which must be protected at all costs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Darryl, Jan 28th, 2011 @ 7:16pm

    I dont buy it

    if they just wire across the speaker, then why bother having the phone even connected to a provider ?

    You could

    1) Set the alarm clock to go off at a certain time.

    2) press a button on the phone to make it go "beep".

    3) throw away the phone, and press and 20cent push button.

    4) install a "safety" switch in series with the speaker line, until that switch is closed the bomb is safe.

    Do you really believe that someone who is capable of making a bomb would be that stuped to leave it "ARMED" all the time, with NO safety system.

    What, he had the bulk explosives, there, he had the detinator installed into it, he had the Det wired up to the phone, AND the battery, he had the phone ON, and connected to a service provider ???

    And you believe this crap ????????????


    REALLY !!!!!


    More than likely what happened was the explosives became unstable all by themselves, or they made an error during MANUFACTURE, but I just CANNOT see that it would have been caused by a rouge SMS message...

    It's just untrue, plainly..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Proffer (profile), Jan 29th, 2011 @ 5:18am

    i dont think so

    how exactly would they know it went off due to a sms message?
    if it's attached to a bomb, it's going to be destroyed.

    if they just found fragments of a phone among the damage.. I mean, come on.. everyone has a cellphone these days. He could have simply put it on top of the bomb and somehow triggered the actual detonator. Or he was talking on the phone when it went off..

    I think this is entirely pure speculation.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Obama, Jan 31st, 2011 @ 9:37am

    I use twitter based bomb detonators for my needs, you should too (tm)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    curiosities, Feb 1st, 2011 @ 6:22am

    curiosities

    just going out on limb here..
    Wouldn't it be more logical to conclude that most suicide bombers are not even aware that they have a bomb on their person?
    Is more logical to assume they all 'hate our freedoms' so much as to kill themselves and others?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    toodous, Jan 8th, 2012 @ 8:16am

    lucky i havenot got bombs, it's terrble.

    toodous

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This