Feature Article

July 03, 2012

The SWAT Team Wants You to Lock Your WiFi

The latest in a long list of news stories that shout in unison the moral, lock your WiFi connection, a family in Evansville Indiana were enjoying a leisurely night at home when police broke down the family's door and tossed a flash-bang stun grenade into their living room.

18 year-old, Stephanie Milan was watching TV with her family when a SWAT Team executed a search warrant for the Milan home. The Evansville Police had been investigating some anonymous online threats against police and their families on the website Topix.com. One specific threat claimed to be in possession of explosives and targeted the city of Evansville directly. That threat was likely routed remotely through the Milan's open WiFi connection.

Police use what is known as a law enforcement threat matrix to determine the correct response to threats like the anonymous ones posted online that led to the raid on the Milan home. The posts named some specific police officers, mentioned explosives and made reference to the part of town where one of the officers makes his home. The Stefanie Milan appears to have been the victim of a particularly nasty prank known as "swatting" whereby the prankster routes internet activity or a phone call intended to draw the attention of law enforcement personnel through an unsecured wireless connection, leading police to believe that to be the source.

All of the trouble, the embarrassment of the police force and the carpet stained black by a stun grenade detonation could have been avoided if Sephanie Milan had locked her WiFi. The Milan family were questioned and then released at the scene, police have no reason to believe they were involved in the threats made online, and the city is paying to repair the damage to their home done by a SWAT forced entry.

Want to learn more about today’s powerful mobile Internet ecosystem? Then be sure to attend the Mobility Tech Conference & Expo, collocated with ITEXPO West 2012 taking place Oct. 2-5 2012, in Austin, TX. Co-sponsored by TMC Partner Crossfire Media the Mobility Tech Conference & Expo provides unmatched networking opportunities and a robust conference program representing the mobile ecosystem. The conference not only brings together the best and brightest in the wireless industry, it actually spans the communications and technology industry. For more information on registering for the Mobility Tech Conference & Expo click here.

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Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli

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