Bloke who tried to get journo killed by SWAT cops coughs to conspiracy charge

Krebs says at least one tormentor already facing justice

SWAT

One of the individuals who swatted the home of investigative journalist Brian Krebs has pleaded guilty to a felony criminal charge.

Swatting, for the uninitiated, involves calling 911 to falsely claim that someone is about to be shot and killed, and giving the police the address of an enemy or rival. What happens next is an armed SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) team of cops rock up at the address, kick down doors, and possibly shoot dead the people inside. It's a rather stupid way to try to get someone you don't like killed.

And it almost happened to Krebs.

On Monday, the journo, who rattles the cages of online crims and hackers, posted on his website a copy of a letter he received from the US Department of Justice notifying him that one of the people associated with the attempted Swat team raids on his home had admitted a conspiracy charge in a US federal court.

"A federal investigation has revealed that several individuals participated in a scheme to commit swatting in the course of which these individuals committed various Federal criminal offenses," the letter reads.

Krebs said the swatting attacks occurred in 2013 after he posted an article detailing how hackers had obtained and traded in personal information, including social security numbers, home addresses, and phone numbers. In particular, Krebs said, the group was upset with his reporting that the info was being used to take over the accounts of Xbox Live administrators.

"According to my sources, the young men, nearly all of whom are based here in the United States, obtained the personal data after hacking into a now-defunct online identity theft service," Krebs said.

Angry at the exposure, the group was then alleged to have called in phony threats to police alleging a hostage situation was taking place at Krebs' home. Police surrounded Krebs house, but nobody ended up injured in the incident.

No word was given on the fate of any of the other alleged swatters.

Swatting has become a favorite pastime of trolls in recent years.

As you might imagine, authorities don't find swatting to be particularly amusing, and police have taken to tracking down, arresting, and prosecuting those who engage in swatting others online. Earlier this year, a hacker was arrested in the UK for various illegal activities, including swatting individuals in the US. A teenager in Canada was cuffed for similar activities. ®

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