Brian Krebs, an influential cyber security blogger previously with The Washington Post who now runs his own blog Krebs on Security, suffered a simultaneous denial of service (DDoS) attack on his website and a misdirected police raid on his house in Annandale, Virginia, on Thursday evening. The police were responding to a phony emergency call that "Russians had broken into the home and shot my wife," as Krebs recounted in a harrowing blog post today. Krebs said Fairfax County police surrounded his house, pointed guns at him and handcuffed him before he was able to explain to them that they were all the victims of a hoax. His security camera captured an image of the raid, above.
"This type of individual prank puts peoples’ lives at risk."
Hackers and pranksters have in recent years perpetrated similar hoax emergency calls on celebrities including Chris Brown and Tom Cruise, a practice known as "SWATting" because the goal is to get the SWAT team to respond. Krebs doesn't think that's anything to take lightly. "This type of individual prank puts peoples’ lives at risk, wastes huge amounts of taxpayer dollars, and draws otherwise scarce resources away from real emergencies," he wrote. "What’s more, there are a lot of folks who will confront armed force with armed force, all with the intention of self-defense."
Krebs wrote that he believes the DDoS attack and the phony emergency call were perpetrated by the same people or person, who he theorizes were angry with him for publishing a story earlier in the week about a black market website that allegedly offers people's Social Security numbers for sale. Krebs said he believes the website is connected to another site listing credit report and other personal information of famous figures including First Lady Michelle Obama and Jay-Z, which the FBI and Secret Service launched an investigation into on Tuesday. Krebs said he managed to trace the denial of service attacks back to a website linked to the email address "firstname.lastname@example.org," which is registered to someone in the UK. Meanwhile, Ars Technica, which wrote about Krebs' ordeal, suffered a denial of service attack Friday shortly after publishing its article on the matter.