Explore the latest news and trends  

Sign up for our weekly security newsletter

Be the first to receive important updates on security


Computer Hacker Behind Hoax 911 Calls to Serve Prison

Randal T. Ellis, aged 19, and belong to Mulkiteo, Washington, was sentenced to prison for three years as well as ordered to make a payment of $14,765 as restitution fees for illegally breaking into the computer system of the Southern California emergency center, as reported by Seatlepi on March 26, 2008.

According to Sherriff's Sergeant, Mike McHenry, the case needs to bear a significant punishment as it involves serious danger to the deputies and people involved. The computer intrusion wasn't an ordinary case of hacking. It was an elaborate attempt, well-scripted and thought-out to result in significantly illegal armed response, putting at risk everyone involved, as reported by Ocregister on March 26, 2008.

Nearly one-year back on March 29, 2007, Ellis started his hacking attempts in the emergency or 911 computer systems to make "swatting" calls. The recent hoax call was to the Orange County Fire Authority at 11.30 p.m. The Department of Sherriff was called for help and Ellis' fraud call led to the rolling of fire department paramedics and patrol cars to the residence of a couple and its family in Lake Forest.

The caller narrated different stories from alarms about an overdosed drug to reports about assassinating his sister when she fired to kill him. As the law enforcement agencies thought that worse could happen, it prompted patrol cars, the Critical Incidence Response Team of the Sherriff, members of SWAT team and police helicopters and dogs to surround the Lake Forest home.

The end result was a face-to-face encounter with the residence's people at gunpoint, some arrests and a house search. Officers realized the call was hoax when no evidence of the caller's report was found. Ellis had completed his plot by using the services of an ISP.

In the opinion of McHenry, the hacking process to access the emergency computers was not too technical. However, Ellis' case would delay other people who try to emulate such mischievous acts.

McHenry also said that this hoax call was one among the 200 calls from Ellis. Three other calls appeared "swatting" like the current one.

Related article: Computer Virus Writers Adopt New Strategy

ยป SPAMfighter News - 3/31/2008

3 simple steps to update drivers on your Windows PCSlow PC? Optimize your Slow PC with SLOW-PCfighter!Email Cluttered with Spam? Free Spam Filter!

Dear Reader

We are happy to see you are reading our IT Security News.

We do believe, that the foundation for a good work environment starts with fast, secure and high performing computers. If you agree, then you should take a look at our Business Solutions to Spam Filter & Antivirus for even the latest version of Exchange Servers - your colleagues will appreciate it!

Go back to previous page