The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Game Hackers Launch DDOS, Target @PhantomL0rd for SWATting
UPDATE: In Video, Gamer Describes Police Raid With Automatic Weapons

Posted on | December 31, 2013 | 15 Comments

@PhantomL0rd is a popular videogame blogger who last night got SWATted by a gang of hacker trolls:

A group of hackers going by the name DERP has launched DDoS attacks on a number of big games and websites today, bringing a number of them down, including the homepage of Electronic Arts.
The attacks have been focused on a single gamer — Phantoml0rd — and have been systematically trying to crash all of the games he regularly streams on his Twitch page, including World of Warcraft and League of Legends. . . .
The group — or maybe it’s just one guy, we’re looking into it — then moved onto other targets like Club Penguin and Electronic Arts . . .
PhantomL0rd has posted a message on his Facebook page saying that police arrived at his home — called to investigate a “hostage situation” — earlier this evening.

just had an automatic pointed at me, put in hand cuffs and sat in the back of a cop car as I watched as 6 policemen go through my whole house.. will keep you all updated.

It appears those going after the streamer’s games have moved on from trying to bring down websites to “Swatting” his home.

The idea that “SWATting” is a harmless prank to play — an idea that originates with the same kind of vandal mentality which considers taking down Web sites with DDOS attacks a pleasant amusement — will not be endorsed by @PhantomL0rd, nor by anyone else who has ever been the target of such crimes.

(Hat-tip: David West on Twitter.)

UPDATE: Just listened to @PhantomL0rd’s hopelessly rambling YouTube video explanation — where do I apply to get a refund for that hour of my life? — and transcribed this:

“Three cop cars and about seven policemen. . . . The first thing I see is this guy leaning on a tree with a fully-automatic [weapon] . . . I wasn’t scared. I knew what was going on. . . . He just yelled at me: ‘Turn around and walk backward.’ . . . Hands up behind my head. . . . Immediately, he puts the handcuffs on me. . . . Now there’s like 13, 14 cops. . . . The police chief was there. . . . These f–king handcuffs hurt. . . 25, 30 minutes in there [locked in back of a police car] . . . They sent about six cops into my house. . . . Later found out that the [fake] threat was a hostage situation, that I was [reportedly] holding five people hostage.”

Really, if someone else wants to take the time to do a complete transcript of that video, good luck. His description of the SWATting starts about the 20-minute mark, after @PhantomL0rd has described his entire day from the time he woke up in the morning.

I understand how, in the jangled emotion of the moment, people lose focus, but the larger problem with first-person accounts of this sort is the lack of objective judgment: What do people need to know? What is the most important part of this story?

Think about the viewer (or reader) and tell your story in a way that engages and makes sense. The viewer or reader doesn’t give a damn about you, as a person or as a videogamer or whatever. You are not the story; the crime against you is the story, and you need to try to tell that story in a just-the-facts-ma’am manner. Anyway . . .

It appears that envy was the motive for the harassment of @PhantomL0rd: He is both popular and successful as a gamer, and was “streaming” some of his game action for a rather large viewership when the hacker or hackers began sequentially targeting online game servers for DDOS attacks. That is to say, they targeted the games that @PhantomL0rd was playing, just to mess up his streaming, and then added a SWATting for good measure. Also, @PhantomL0rd was targeted for about a half-dozen hoax pizza deliveries.

The fact that these crimes were inspired by petty jealousies among videogamers is irrelevant. The people responsible for this kind of harassment need to go to prison.



15 Responses to “Game Hackers Launch DDOS, Target @PhantomL0rd for SWATting
UPDATE: In Video, Gamer Describes Police Raid With Automatic Weapons”

  1. Zohydro
    December 31st, 2013 @ 9:35 am

    Holy crap! My daughter has a Club Penguin account… And my son has an EA (Origin) account!

  2. joethefatman
    December 31st, 2013 @ 9:52 am

    Different DeRP.

  3. Taxpayer1234
    December 31st, 2013 @ 10:54 am

    Seems the kiddies have been watching the adults do this crap to people like the proprietor of this blog. Hmmmm.

  4. Quartermaster
    December 31st, 2013 @ 11:04 am

    It’s a shame that the morals of this country have sunk so far, so fast. Low moral stature is what is killing the country.

    My son played World of Warcraft when he was in Grad school. That was a strange world. One kid’s parents bought a character for him at the price of $30K. Mode money than sense.

  5. robertstacymccain
    December 31st, 2013 @ 11:10 am

    In fact, this kind of harassment originated in the gamer community. “Anonymous” came out of 4Chan, and former Anonymous spokesman Barrett Brown began his career of online vandalism as a “griefer” in gaming communities.

    In 2010, when Anonymous made the leap into politics — in support of Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks — is when such harassment tactics began to be used systematically against political bloggers.

  6. Here is a New Years Resolution: No SWATing | Batshit Crazy News
    December 31st, 2013 @ 11:28 am

    […] reports on a SWATing incident involving a gamer.  Like the knock out game, this is going to end […]

  7. Cole
    December 31st, 2013 @ 11:47 am

    I emailed you a month ago because another group of gamers had been SWATted while doing a live stream. They all put up video’s, but here’s the least rambling:

    I imagine this happens a lot in the gaming community.

  8. DavidD
    December 31st, 2013 @ 12:35 pm

    ” ‘The first thing I see is this guy leaning on a tree with a fully-automatic [weapon] . . .’ ”

    Wow; that’s impressive. He could see the third hole in the rifle’s lower receiver from across the lawn.

  9. rustypaladin
    December 31st, 2013 @ 2:34 pm

    His expeince with weapons probably consists of playing “Call of Duty” and “Medal of Honor”. He saw a scary black weapon and thought it was automatic. I’d excuse him. A .22 pistol looks like a field artillery piece when it is pointed at you by someone who seems willing to pull the trigger.

  10. MNHawk
    December 31st, 2013 @ 2:50 pm

    I remember the good ‘ole days, when PVP kiddies just whined that Paladins were overpowered…

  11. Adjoran
    December 31st, 2013 @ 4:37 pm

    The shame of it is that there will be no consequences for the cops who falsely arrested the guy and illegally searched his home.

    The worst shame of it is there will be no consequences for the “swatters” until someone is killed or grievously harmed due to their false reports.

    It is hard to understand that even local LE agencies don’t demand the FBI track these folks down and prosecute them. Just on the cost alone of mounting a SWAT operation with potential hostages, if not for public safety.

  12. Quartermaster
    December 31st, 2013 @ 7:15 pm

    The most common auto weapons used by Police are the M-4 and MP-5. Both are quite recognizable from a distance by anyone who has only seen pics of them. SWAT teams are made up of SEAL wannabes and they do love their artillery to be of the rock-n-roll variety.

    SWAT cops are probably the most dangerous subculture among cops these days, and the most undercontrolled.

  13. Taxpayer1234
    January 1st, 2014 @ 1:42 pm

    I forgot about that. Thanks for the refresher. In this case, it’s more of the same from idiots with a computer.

  14. rustypaladin
    January 1st, 2014 @ 5:04 pm

    I think we are in agreement. Whether it was an AR-15 or an M-4, they are both easily recognizable. But you can’t tell the difference unless you look at the selector switch. My point was that his memory is probably heavily influenced by the fact he was looking down the barrel of the weapon.

  15. Patrick Chester
    January 1st, 2014 @ 9:26 pm

    Oh that still happens. For everything.