Cybercrime Reporter Apparently Victim of Growing SWATing Hoaxes


Brian Krebs, a former Washington Post reporter now reporting on cybercrime may be a victim of “SWATing,” the growing practice of calling in a false report to lure a massive SWAT response to someone else's home. Krebs had an unexpected visit from about 10 Fairfax County, Va., police officers after someone “spoofed” his cellphone number to make it appear that a call came from him, the Post reports. The SWAT team never was called, but Krebs was handcuffed and briefly questioned before police realized what had happened.

High-profile targets of SWATing have included Ashton Kutcher, Justin Bieber and Clint Eastwood. In Krebs’ case, a caller told police that Russians had broken into his home and shot his wife. Krebs had told police in August that such a SWATing call might happen because of threats he had from online groups that were the subjects of his reporting. Last week, he wrote about online groups that sell illegal access to consumer credit report. The FBI has been advising people about the dangers of SWATing but doesn’t talk much about it for fear of spreading the idea.

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