Not only are these dangerous hoaxes they are also a tool for the anti-gunners out there to try and draw negative attention to an “active shooter” or “mass shooting”. Remember, the Information/Propaganda War is not really about substance, (I think most of us can agree on that) it is just about Headlines. Make enough of them and pretty soon you got politicians making speeches about more Gun laws and Assault Weapons Bans. -SF
Dangerous hoax calls to cops have several clues
On Feb. 23, a police tactical team descended on a home in Riverside, California after receiving a call about a shooting. Except the report was a hoax — or swatting — targeting a teenager, the star of a viral video.
No one was harmed, and it was a rather minor story because of swatting’s regularity in the Internet age. In a swatting incident, a caller reports a false bomb threat, mass shooting, hostage situation or other emergency to 911, which provokes a heavily-armed SWAT team to raid the home of the unwitting victim.
But there might be a way to prevent swatting in some cases. On Feb. 29, the website Public Intelligence, a non-profit that advocates free access to government documents, uploaded a list of techniques from New Jersey’s cybersecurity task force that police dispatchers should follow during a call.
It’s a sign that law enforcement is starting to adapt.
Swattings follow several patterns, according to the list from the New Jersey Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Cell.
“The swatting call is the only incoming call to report an active shooter or ongoing emergency situation,” the NJCCIC states. “If a shooting has occurred or an active shooter scenario is unfolding, multiple calls to dispatch from witnesses or victims are likely.”
Phoning in a fake threat with a personal phone will give the caller’s identity away, so pranksters often — if they’re not complete idiots — rely on spoofed Voice over Internet Protocol addresses or default Skype numbers. Not easy to track.
VoIP addresses cannot typically connect to 911, so the callers will try routing through a non-emergency line. Swatters sometimes distort their voices or communicate via text-to-speech programs.
Swatters also hire contractors to make the calls over the dark web, the vast, hidden parts of the Internet partially encrypted by services such as Tor. “Swatting calls are commonly conducted by foreign malicious actors with thick accents who are unfamiliar with the local areas they target,” the list adds.
Read the Remainder at War is Boring