Swatting, for those unfamiliar, is when people call law enforcement to report a fake emergency to get SWAT deployed to a specific location, like someone’s home—something Lil Wayne was a victim of earlier this year—sometimes resulting in victims being attacked or arrested by police. Swatting is now a federal crime, for which one Connecticut man is facing one year in prison for.
Matthew Tollis a 22-year-old arrested last year in September is getting prison time for his involvement in six swatting incidents in 2014, according to the Department of Justice. Tollis, as a member of a group called “Team Crucifix or Die,” faked a bomb threat to the University of Connecticut, which he pled guilty to this summer. As a member he reportedly "identified potential institutions...for TCOD members to make the threatening calls, and gathered telephone numbers and other information about the targeted institutions." Tollis was also involved in threats to three high schools, two in New Jersey and one in Texas, as well as threats directed at Boston University and the Boston Convention Center.
The Justice Department says many of TCOD’s members, mostly Xbox gamers, are in the UK and so it’s teaming up with British authorities to investigate. Security expert Brian Krebs said this summer that the group renamed itself to “ISIS Gang” and revealed it was connected to hacker Julius Kivimaki, who was convicted this year after stealing credit card numbers from computer systems through malicious software. An affidavit said Tollis allegedly joined TCOD after hackers posted his address and personal information online in hopes that "it would discourage others from bullying him."
US Attorney Deirdre Daly released a statement regarding Tollis’ sentence: "Swatting is not a schoolboy prank, it’s a federal crime. It is our hope that this prosecution and the knowledge that this defendant will serve time in prison and live with a felony conviction for the remainder of his life will deter others from engaging in this immature, dangerous and criminal behavior."
Tollis was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison by a judge, in addition to three years of supervised release and 300 hours of community service.
[via The Verge]
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