A troubling new trend in cybercrime is gaining traction, as extortionists are increasingly using “swatting” as a tactic.
Swatting involves making a hoax call to emergency services, typically reporting a serious but fabricated incident, to draw a large police response to a victim’s address. This dangerous and disruptive practice has evolved into a tool for cybercriminals seeking ransom from individuals and businesses, threatening them with swatting if their demands are not met.
Recent swatting threats have included using data on patients stolen from hospitals and healthcare organizations.
Law enforcement agencies are struggling to cope with this trend due to the inherent challenges in tracing such calls and the serious nature of the threats, which often require immediate response. This form of cyber extortion highlights the evolving landscape of online threats, where perpetrators exploit fear and the potential for real-world harm to extract payments from their victims.
Sources include: The Register