SWAT Action Against Couple Planned by Teen Hacker
Randall Ellis, a nineteen year old teenager of Washington State, is facing eighteen years imprisonment for accessing 911 emergency system of California, Orange County, through his PC and convincing the authorities to launch a SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) team raid on a couple's home in the area.
The investigating team had to research for months to find out the identity of this alleged hacker. Randall was arrested after months of efforts from Mulkiteo, his hometown, on October 18, 2007. He is facing the charges of unauthorized computer access as well as assault charges by proxy. The proxy charge will hold him, and not the SWAT team, responsible for the trouble faced by the innocent citizens.
The authorities disclosed that Randall had randomly chosen the address of Doug Bates' home in Lake Forest area and entered false information into the 911 system. He then called up as an imposter saying that he had killed someone in that house and threatened to shoot the others as well.
During the 38 minute long conversation of Randall with Orange County's dispatchers, he convinced them of having had killed someone in the house. The 911 dispatchers immediately sent a SWAT team to the location followed by police, fire and other emergency teams and even a helicopter. The authorities later declined to identify the victims of this gag. This incident took place on March 29 this year.
Farrah Emami, the spokeswomen for the district attorney, highlighted the seriousness of the issue and said that this activity cannot be treated as a prank as there were people whose lives were put into danger.
Jim Amormino, a spokesman for Orange County Sherrif's department, said that Ellis had not used any special techniques. According to him, any person with basic computer knowledge could have done that and it did not require any special skills, as reported by PC World on October 17, 2007. The department used the 911 call records to trace the call back to the accused. This incident, as per Amormino, cost the country an estimated US$ 18.000. The accused is believed to have made at least 194 fake 911 to emergency authorities from 2005 till now.
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» SPAMfighter News - 31-10-2007