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MIT's Saturday hoax incident (github.com)
81 points by mikexstudios 1549 days ago | hide | past | web | 30 comments | favorite



A more official looking source for the same information:

http://techblogs.mit.edu/news/2013/02/letter-from-israel-rui...


This sounds a lot like swatting, a favorite of anonymous.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swatting


I've never ever heard of Anonymous swatting so please feel free to post a link??


> Posted October 9, 2009

> Are you an enemy of Anonymous? If so, you’d better be sure to keep your home address closely guarded, lest you be targeted for a “swatting.”

http://anonymouslegions.wordpress.com/2009/10/09/anonymous-s...


Lots of other people have also taken to this tactic. SWAT teams have been sent to an ADA's personal residences by someone forging a call from within the house, as just one example.


If that's the best link(Or a link that links a non-existent link) then I'm happy to say that no Anonymous do not swat.

But touché, I didn't ask for a reputable link.


It's trolling that ends with black helicopters circling over your house. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_helicopter)


> At 8:52 AM, a campus-wide alert was sent.

It took over an hour after the report of an armed gunman on campus for the community to be notified? Even though it sounds like they were doing a great job physically clearing buildings with armed security, a lockdown procedure seems like a no-brainer. At ~7:30 most people are still in their dorms and it would be easy to keep them there.


I go to Virginia Tech, and people all the time say "Isn't that where those people were killed? Do you feel safe there?"

Yes, yes I do. The alert response system here is impressively fast. Good luck getting our response time at any other school comparable to our size.


As they say, that was one of the things they learned from this event. They need to send out those alerts faster.


It was a Saturday, so I'd expect there weren't many people in campus buildings anyway.


> It was a Saturday, so I'd expect there weren't many people in campus buildings anyway.

That's not the same MIT I remember.


Well, it'll be at a minimum at least. Grad students probably won't quite be in yet, and for undergrads nothing is going to be due Saturday, so I wouldn't expect too many people pulling all-nighters.


Just about time to go to sleep, isn't it?


This is just terrible.

Couldn't have been someone affiliated with the institute; MIT hacks are creative and witty.


That's a ridiculous assumption to make. Every screening process has flaws. I would expect the majority of the people at MIT to be really brilliant, but there are bound to be at least a couple immature idiots that slipped through the cracks.

It hasn't been proven that the person was associated with MIT, but at the very least, I'd be chasing down anyone who had a potential grudge against the MIT employee that was accused of being a gunman. There's other ways that a person could have known his name, but it does seem kind of suspicious. Unless more information gets released, there's nothing to indicate that it wasn't.


MIT hacks are not supposed to be damaging in any way, at least according to lore.

Source: If At All Possible, Involve a Cow (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/407327.If_at_All_Possible...)


If someone thought this was a fun idea to begin with, I could easily see that same person seeing this as non-damaging.


With anything as elite as MIT there is bound to be a few very self centered narcissists.


"It's not a game" - no, but for the people calling in hoaxes, it can very well be. The administration can't choose to stop responding. But the cost of committing such a hoax is effectively zero - what's to stop the hoaxer from calling in each day?

How do other police handle high volumes of hoax calls that aren't traceable (i.e., aren't 911)?


Abusing the TTY relay intended for the deaf is pretty much only as traceable as an IP address, even if calling 911.


From a past example at the University of Pittsburgh[1], the result is simply a campus-wide lockdown and increasingly strenuous security requirements for those caught in between the hoaxer and their target.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_University_of_Pittsburgh_b...


The attacks on MIT are really unintelligent. MIT has some of the most brilliant students and future/current tech leaders, who may have a large impact on how information policy will be shaped. These attacks have only served to alienate MIT students from the cause.


Can someone explain to me how is it possible that Sprint Relay is still running completely free without any form of authentication?


Relays are a necessity for letting the deaf engage with phone services. Authentication would inevitably deny some deserving deaf people access to those services, so it's not really an option.


I started reading and saw "A big gun" and "armor" and thought it was going to turn into a normal MIT prank, with a guy wearing a metal suit of armor and carrying a cardboard cannon.

Was displeased to learn it was an actual hoax and not a ha-ha-laugh prank.


Can someone explain why this hoax call isn't traceable to the original caller in anyway?


The world phone system has virtual no security or legitimate traceability. It is one gigantic cluster-f*.


So if I call the White House right now and made threats, there wouldn't be black helicopters showing up outside? I find that hard to believe.


If you made a call from your AT&T home phone, sure. However there are countless anonymous proxies that you can chain, and countless VOIP providers (many free). Making anonymous, practically untraceable calls is not a difficult thing.




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