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Teen hacker arrested for triggering ‘911 attack’

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WASHINGTON: An Indian-origin teenager has been arrested after he triggered a DDOS attack prompting city’s emergency services with thousands of bogus 911 telephone calls.

Meetkumar Hiteshbhai Desai allegedly owned a blog and YouTube channel that detailed the vulnerabilities that he discovered. Last week, he reportedly tweeted a java script exploit that triggered phones and tablets to continuously call 911.

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More than 1,000 people clicked on the exploit and flooded emergency call centers around the country with more than 100 calls over a few minutes. Desai told the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department that his friend discovered the vulnerability and that he tweaked the bug to trigger pop-ups, open emails, and to activate phone dialing.

In a statement, Maricopa County sheriff’s office said the link had been clicked almost 2,000 times, threatening emergency services across Arizona.

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Because the 911 service is classed as critical infrastructure, interfering with its operation is treated, in Arizona, with the same severity as human trafficking or second-degree murder.

Talking to police after his arrest, Mr Desai said the bug he had been planning to exploit had been sent to him by an online friend. Using it, he intended exploiting it to make a benign but annoying app that people would find “funny”.

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