hacker hijacks xbox, sends swat to home

from kprc: It looked like the scene out of a video game; and indeed an Xbox was behind a SWAT team invading a suburban Florida home. The SWAT invasion turned out to be a hoax, but police aren’t laughing. The family at the butt of the joke, on the other hand, can’t tell their tale without a bit of a smile. “I come out of my room and they’ve got their guns pointed at me and stuff,” said Hunter Gelinas. “I open my door and I had the whole SWAT team down in the front door. I was like, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to die.’

It turned out that a hacker had gotten access to Hunter’s Xbox and put in a call to police. His mother, Daleann Gelinas, said that the hacker used “a handicapped line, saying that Hunter had been stabbed and the parents and other people being held hostage at the house.” Neighbors watched in awe as police poured down their street. “They all had their guns up like they were ready in case anyone was going to fire on them,” said neighbor Sam Murphy. “When I heard it was a hoax, it kind of made more sense because I figured with this neighborhood, nothing ever really happens here.”

Officers took electronics and the hacked Xbox in a search for the Canadian hacker who has yet to be identified. Experts said that the hoax reveals frightening flaws in online security. “There is nothing there to stop them. Once they gain accessibility to the machine, they can do whatever they want as long as they have the capability and knowledge to do it,” said computer expert Neil Wexell. Wexell said that the easiest way to prevent hackers from gaining access is to keep gaming systems offline when not in use.

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