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Two Arrested in the US after Terrorizing Multiple Families in Swatting Incidents and Livestreaming Ring Doorbell Feeds


December 29, 2022

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Two Arrested in the US after Terrorizing Multiple Families in Swatting Incidents and Livestreaming Ring Doorbell Feeds

A pair of US citizens have been accused of breaching smart doorbell accounts, swatting the victims, and sharing the live feed of the police response.

Of all the actions the two men are accused of, swatting is likely the most dangerous. It's usually done by calling the police with a false report, with details that might prompt the authorities to send in the SWAT team. The term “swatting” was actually coined by the FBI more than a decade ago, and it mostly involved people in the gaming community.

Kya Christian Nelson, a.k.a. "ChumLul," 21, of Racine, Wisconsin, and James Thomas Andrew McCarty, a.k.a. "Aspertaine," 20, of Charlotte, North Carolina, have been arrested on federal charges in Arizona. They are charged with one count of conspiracy to intentionally access computers without authorization, two counts of intentionally accessing a computer without authorization, and two counts of aggravated identity theft.

Nelson and McCarty obtained Yahoo credentials for a large number of people in the United States and then used those credentials to try to authenticate into Ring doorbells. Unfortunately, many people use the same credentials for multiple online accounts, so some of the hackers' attempts succeeded.

"Nelson and McCarty allegedly placed false emergency reports or telephone calls to local law enforcement in the areas where the victims lived," said the US Attorney's Office in a press release. "These reports or calls were intended to elicit an emergency police response to the victim's residence, the indictment alleges."

"The defendants then allegedly accessed without authorization the victims' Ring devices and transmitted the audio and video from those devices on social media during the police response. They also allegedly verbally taunted responding police officers and victims through the Ring devices during several of the incidents," the US Attorney's Office added.

The two are accused of repeated crimes in multiple cities, including Flat Rock, Michigan; Redding, California; Billings, Montana; Decatur, Georgia; Chesapeake, Virginia; Rosenberg, Texas; Oxnard, California; Darien, Illinois; Huntsville, Alabama; North Port, Florida; and Katy, Texas.

In fact, all these swatting incidents prompted the FBI to issue a warning in late 2020 to smart doorbell users to change their passwords and to use robust credentials.




Silviu is a seasoned writer who followed the technology world for almost two decades, covering topics ranging from software to hardware and everything in between.

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