A Computer Generated Swatting Service Is Causing Havoc Across America
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Motherboard has discovered a swatting-as-a-service account on Telegram that uses computer generated voices to issue bomb and mass shooting threats against highschools and other locations across the country. An anonymous reader shares an excerpt from the report:
Known as “Torswats” on the messaging app Telegram, the swatter has been calling in bomb and mass shooting threats against highschools and other locations across the country. Torswat’s connection to these wide ranging swatting incidents has not been previously reported. The further automation of swatting techniques threatens to make an already dangerous harassment technique more prevalent. Swatting is when someone calls in a bogus threat in an attempt to direct law enforcement resources to a particular home, school, or other location. Often, swatting calls result in heavily armed police raiding an innocent victim’s home. At least one case has resulted in police killing the unsuspecting occupant.
Torswats carries out these threatening calls as part of a paid service they offer. For $75, Torswats says they will close down a school. For $50, Torswats says customers can buy “extreme swattings,” in which authorities will handcuff the victim and search the house. Torswats says they offer discounts to returning customers, and can negotiate prices for “famous people and targets such as Twitch streamers.” Torswats says on their Telegram channel that they take payment in cryptocurrency. […] On their Telegram channel, Torswats has uploaded at least 35 distinct recordings of calls they appear to have made. Torswats may have made many more swatting calls on others’ behalf, though: each filename includes a number, with the most recent going up to 170. Torswats also recently shuttered their channel before reappearing on Telegram in February.
In all of those 35 recordings except two, Torswats appears to have used a synthesized voice. The majority of the calls are made with a fake male sounding voice; several include a woman which also appears to be computer generated. Torswats is seemingly able to change what the voice is saying in something close to real-time in order to respond to the operator’s questions. These sometimes include “where are you located,” “what happened,” and “what is your name?” […] Earlier this month, Torswats allegedly changed their tactics: they claimed to have made a swatting call using their own voice. In the subsequent recording, they start with much the same script as their automated voice. “I’ve done something really bad and want to kill myself,” they tell the operator. They then claim they came out to their parents as a transgender woman, that they have an AR-15, and will shoot any police who respond. “Forgot to cut off my laugh at the end,” Torswats wrote on Telegram.