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Swatting

Swatting

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Encyclopedia
Swatting is an attempt to trick an emergency service (such as a 9-1-1
9-1-1
9-1-1 is the emergency telephone number for the North American Numbering Plan .It is one of eight N11 codes.The use of this number is for emergency circumstances only, and to use it for any other purpose can be a crime.-History:In the earliest days of telephone technology, prior to the...

 dispatcher
Dispatcher
Dispatchers are communications personnel responsible for receiving and transmitting pure and reliable messages, tracking vehicles and equipment, and recording other important information...

) into dispatching an emergency response team. The name is derived from SWAT
SWAT
A SWAT team is an elite tactical unit in various national law enforcement departments. They are trained to perform high-risk operations that fall outside of the abilities of regular officers...

 (Special Weapons and Tactics), one type of such team.

History and current status


Swatting has its origins in prank calls to emergency services. Increasing sophistication of the techniques employed and the objectives, notably attempts to direct response units of particular types, and in particular attempts to cause SWAT teams to be dispatched to particular locations, spawned the term swatting. The term may have been coined by the FBI, which investigates these activities that are in the United States or are US-related.

Blind phreaker
Phreaking
Phreaking is a slang term coined to describe the activity of a culture of people who study, experiment with, or explore telecommunication systems, such as equipment and systems connected to public telephone networks. As telephone networks have become computerized, phreaking has become closely...

 Matthew Weigman pled guilty to charges of conspiracy including attempting to retaliate against a witness. He was sentenced to over 11 years in federal prison.

Techniques


Caller ID spoofing
Caller ID spoofing
Caller ID spoofing is the practice of causing the telephone network to display a number on the recipient's Caller ID display that is not that of the actual originating station. The term is commonly used to describe situations in which the motivation is considered malicious by the speaker or writer...

, social engineering
Social engineering (security)
Social engineering is commonly understood to mean the art of manipulating people into performing actions or divulging confidential information...

, prank call
Prank call
A prank call is a form of practical joke committed over the telephone. Prank phone calls began to gain an America-wide following over a period of many years, as they gradually became a staple of the obscure and amusing cassette tapes traded amongst musicians, sound engineers, and media traders...

 and phone phreaking
Phreaking
Phreaking is a slang term coined to describe the activity of a culture of people who study, experiment with, or explore telecommunication systems, such as equipment and systems connected to public telephone networks. As telephone networks have become computerized, phreaking has become closely...

 techniques may be combined. 911 systems (including telephony and human operators) have been tricked by calls placed from cities hundreds of miles away.

Two examples: using a service that permits people to call using a spoofed caller-id, the prankster uses the phone number of the victim, calls the police and pretends there is a hostage situation. Other possibility; prankster signs up for internet-based phone VOIP service in the victim's area code, signs on to the website of the VOIP provider, and registers the victim's address as theirs for 911, then calls 911 and again, misinforms the police that there is a hostage situation.

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