Sunday, March 8, 2009

The new type of prank calls (spoofing) that won’t have you running after your refrigerator.

I was reading an article in the e School News Technology News for Today's k-20 Educator March 2009 issue titled Hackers' latest ploy: Spoofing 911 calls. I was totally shocked at this type of "prank" calling and didn't even know it could be done. In general, and I am no expert, how it works is using the computer to make a call you can hide where the call originates from. It has been used by companies for a long time to hide the actual call back number from your caller ID system, showing a generic company number and is perfectly legal. Well some teenagers and college agers are using this technology to make prank or what is now called spoofing calls to 911. Many calls end up in swat teams being called in and schools being evacuated. One large arrest of 8 people who made a minimum of 300 calls to 911, one being a call that had real sounding gun shots and people moaning in the background. The 911 system is not set up to handle this type of calling. Fixed lines and most cell phones come up with an address or registered to someone. To update the 911 system it would be costly, some are using technology to collect IP address that call in. This may not help the short term they will still need to send people out but some accountability may be established. I am now curious I use Vonage a computer based phone system, so I am going to check about how this will come through on my local 911 system.

What a waste of resources and these students cannot be dumb kids that are doing this so what a waste of brains. If you want to play with computers so much volunteer your time to schools, churches, daycares anywhere do something constructive with your time. I guess he schools need to create a new part to their curriculum computer ethics. My husband is teaching a graduate class on computer ethics but maybe it needs to be taught in elementary, middle, and high schools as well.

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