Police Militarization meets Hacker Culture: Swatting

In recent years, a small amount of hackers and gamers have been anonymously reporting fake hostage situations, shootings, and other violent crimes designed to send elite police units, like SWAT teams, to unsuspecting people at their residences.

Swatting is a dangerous and expensive prank, which is easy to pull off. Swatters are utilizing easily accessible technology to mask or even alter the ID during calls to 911 dispatchers. With SWAT teams and paramilitary gear becoming the norm across small town America, these calls have predictably chaotic results.

Despite the hyper-vigilance of America’s law enforcement, authorities still struggle to defend themselves from the unlikeliest of threats — tech-savvy teenagers. Police militarization meets hacker culture as VICE News investigates the dangerous crime of swatting.

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  • AnonymousHack

    Anyone who wants to can buy such services on the darknet’s black markets.

  • Hp B

    Hello, officer? Yes, I’d like to report a suspicious man (my ex-wife’s new boyfriend) driving crazy down Route 666. I’m pretty sure he was waving a pistol around.
    Here’s his license plate number. Thank you!
    (damn, that was easy)

  • sleat

    And the fact that this phenomenon exists is proof that the existing police services will never be successfully “declaring war” on the citizenry at large, targetting marginalized subsets of the populace, despite all the breathless hyperbole to that effect. All those mraps, night vision, and high powered rifles are no match for a numerous, unrelenting and fluid opposition, whatever that might be. Police this easily lured don’t stand a chance against it.

    The obsession with protecting individual officer safety, coupled with systemic over-reach, over-reaction, and bureaucracy are the combined achilles heel and manipulation lever of these de-evolved peace enforcement agencies. Mayberry’s Sherrif Andy Taylor could never successfully be “swatted” against someone. If you can’t see why, watch a few episodes and learn.

    How does a state attract cops as smart as him to its force?