Feeds

Heavily armed cops raid IM chat

Closet swatting

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A California family that found their apartment surrounded by more than a dozen heavily SWAT armed officers are among the latest victims of swatting, a crime designed to elicit an emergency response by reporting a bogus 911 call.

Officers from the Salinas Police Department rushed to the apartment last Wednesday after receiving a report from someone claiming to be a 15-year-old boy saying three men wielding AK-47 assault weapons were trying to break into his apartment. The caller said he was hiding in a closet to elude the gunmen.

After police evacuated a mother and daughter from the apartment, they discovered another resident, a 15-year-old boy, had been holding an online chat with a person believed to be connected to the dangerous prank. The online acquaintance, who said he was located in Chicago, asked the boy if he heard any sirens approaching around the same time the police were arriving.

Swatting uses a combination of social engineering, phone phreaking and computer hacking to harass individuals. In many cases, the swatter will trick the victim into divulging a physical address and then use a VoIP system to make it look like the victim has initiated an emergency call from his address. This often prompts a response from SWAT teams who conduct emergency raids on the homes of people whose numbers were spoofed.

In the past several weeks, four individuals have pleaded guilty to participating in a series of swatting hoaxes that over a course of five years snared as many as 100 victims and losses of more than $250,000. They face maximum penalties of five years each in prison and fines of $250,000.

A suspect in a separate swatting incident in Orange County, California, faces charges including computer access and fraud, false imprisonment by violence, falsely reporting a crime and assault with an assault weapon by proxy. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
George Clooney, WikiLeaks' lawyer wife hand out burner phones to wedding guests
Day 4: 'News'-papers STILL rammed with Clooney nuptials
Shellshock: 'Larger scale attack' on its way, warn securo-bods
Not just web servers under threat - though TENS of THOUSANDS have been hit
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
PEAK IPV4? Global IPv6 traffic is growing, DDoS dying, says Akamai
First time the cache network has seen drop in use of 32-bit-wide IP addresses
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.