There is a nonsensical bad habit that some script kiddies have been getting up for the last couple years. This is the practice of swatting. One person who allegedly fancied himself as a “hacker” was Brandon Wilson aka “Famed God”. Despite his lofty moniker he was a 19-year-old teen from Nevada.
He was picked up by police in Las Vegas and will face extradition to Illinois to face charges arising from a swatting incident. So, for the uninitiated, a swatting is when an emergency service, such as 911, is fed falsified information in an effort to have a police SWAT team respond to an address.
Some techniques that could be used by perpetrators prank phone calls, caller ID spoofing and phone phreaking. This could allow a perpetrator to call a 911 service in another geographic location altogether.
An example would be calling in to say that someone is running around with an automatic weapon shooting people or an erroneous bomb threat. While the swatters might think this is funny there is a very real chance that this could one day result in a fatality. To be honest I’m surprised that this has not happened before now.
From the Chicago Tribune:
A prosecutor says a 19-year-old who uses the online name "Famed God" is jailed in Las Vegas pending transfer in custody to Illinois on felony charges stemming from a false 911 report of a murder at a Naperville home.
Brandon Willson of Las Vegas was being held Friday at the Clark County jail following his arrest Thursday. He's scheduled for an extradition hearing Monday.
Wilson is alleged to have committed a series of computer related crimes but, I’d be curious if the prosecutors pursue attempted murder charges in related to the swatting. I couldn’t say that I would blame them for it if they did.
There is a simple lesson to be learned here. If someone bests you on the Sony Playstation Network or Xbox Live, suck it up. There are bigger issues in life than being outraged be some 16 year old just fragged your player. Prison is not something to aspire to at all. That’s where swatting will get you.
(Image used under CC from jasoneppink)