Brian Krebs is a journalist who specializes in computer security. His blog, Krebs on Security, is worth a bookmark even if you’re not into computer security. If nothing else, it will help expand your knowledge of all things related to that metal box sitting next to you that lets you play on the internet. That’s not a bad thing.
Recently Krebs profiled a web site that specializes in providing personal information about people (for a small fee). With such information it’s possible to gain even more personal information such as full credit reports. Such a scenario was recently put on stage with the news of celebrity credit records being posted online.
Not long after Krebs’ report went online he found his web site being DDoSed (flooded with massive amounts of traffic to the point it became inaccessible to anyone). Some people apparently didn’t like what Krebs was writing about. This was nothing that Krebs hadn’t experienced before. What was new about this particular experience was opening his front door a day later and finding himself staring down the barrel of a police officer’s gun. He had been SWATed.
Swatting is when someone calls an emergency dispatch and reports a violent crime in progress at the residence of their target. Police respond with exceptional force, possibly a SWAT force, and the target is treated to the incredibly frightening experience of having police storm their house with weapons drawn. You may have already heard of swatting. Recently several celebrities, such as Ashton Kuthcer, have found themselves the target of swatting, brining the attack to public attention.
Luckily for Krebs he recognized immediately what was happening. He cooperated with the police until they were satisfied the situation as safe and there was no violent crime currently in progress. Krebs provided his first-hand account of the event on his blog. In it he also explains some initial investigation he conducted into identifying who might be behind the attack, brining us into the world of one particular web site where you can buy DDoS attacks. It’s a great read on its own, but Kreb’s next blog post is even more interesting.
Krebs posted a report on Tuesday detailing his further investigating into the DDoS and swatting attacks. Between some of his own work and tips from others he was able to track down the information of a 20 year old in Connecticut who may very well have been the individual behind both attacks. That information included a phone number. So he gave him a call.
In his conversation with this guy Krebs finds out this individual may also be the person behind the “epic hack” of Wired author Mat Honan (also a damn interesting read).
The blog post ends without stating if Krebs has given his information over to the police (I think it’s safe to assume he has), but the saga is probably not yet over. Be sure to bookmark Krebs’ blog as it’ll surely have a few more interesting posts in the coming weeks.