Hoax sends SWAT team to reporter's house

Ars Technica

Brian Krebs' plans for a dinner party Thursday were interrupted by a SWAT team, Dan Goodin reports.

On Thursday, he became one of the first journalists to be on the receiving end of a vicious hoax that prompted a raid on his Northern Virginia home by a swarm of heavily armed police officers. The tactic, known as "SWATing," has long been a favorite of depraved hackers. They use computers or special phone equipment to make emergency calls that appear to come from their target's phone number. When a 911 operator answers, they report a life-threatening, sometimes horrific crime in progress.

Krebs' online-security blog is regularly attacked, "presumably by people who are unhappy that the articles he publishes threaten their illicit livelihoods or tarnish their reputations," Goodin writes. Krebs tells Goodin he filed a report with the Fairfax County, Va., police six months ago warning them something like this may happen.

Krebs reported in February that his former employer, The Washington Post, had like other major news orgs been attacked by Chinese hackers.

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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