Monday, August 8, 2011

SWATting: The dangerous new 'prank' craze that aims to send armed police to victim's home - 8th Aug 2011

When police stormed a home in Canada last month, they were prepared to face a man who had killed his mother and was threatening to kill his sister.

But instead they found Jason Myles, a software consultant who was alone in the apartment and listening to music on headphones.

Myles told the Toronto Star: 'As soon as I heard it was the police I knew it had to be a mistake of some kind.'

'There was nothing going on in the apartment that would warrant any kind of police response.’

Mr Myles, 39, was handcuffed on the floor while police searched for the ‘victims,’ but they found nothing – no dead mother, no threatened sister.

Instead, the police officers who broke down Mr Myles’ door were the victims of a trend known as 'swatting.'

The dangerous prank, where hackers report a bogus emergency with the goal of mobilizing a SWAT team, is making its way into Canada.

A week earlier, 18 police cars showed up at Louise Gray’s British Columbia home after a call of murders and a hostage crisis at the house.

The housewife was taken into custody and held for two hours while police investigated what happened.

In the Canada cases, a hacker likely used Voice over Internet Protocol to make it appear the emergency call was coming from a their addresses.

Mr Myles and Mrs Gray are believed to be the first cases of swatting in Canada after several cases have also been reported in the U.S.

Last month, police in New Jersey were called to the home of Parry Aftab, an online safety advocate who had just appeared on Good Morning America to talk about cyberbullying. Read More