A family living near Orlando was awakened by a SWAT team early Thursday morning, apparently sent to the home as a hoax after hackers accessed a neighbor boy’s Xbox 360 and obtained an address from his account.
Police said the address on the account was out of date, sending officers to a home where they were told one person had been killed and the rest of the family was being held hostage.
The owner of the Xbox said the hackers confronted him asking that he transfer some downloadable content for a multiplayer video game, and he refused. Police say they’ve since obtained the gamertags and IP addresses of the individuals responsible for the hoax and an investigation is underway.
The phenomenon of “swatting” has emerged in recent years as a threat to targeted individuals thanks to technology that enables hackers to mask caller identification signals. The use of an Xbox 360, however, is unique.
This video is from Orlando’s Channel 9 News, aired Thursday, January 31, 2013.
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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