AskDefine | Define swatting

Dictionary Definition

swat n : a sharp blow v : hit swiftly with a violent blow; "Swat flies" [also: swatting, swatted]swatting See swat

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Pronunciation

Verb

swatting
  1. present participle of swat

Extensive Definition

In the field of information security, swatting is an attempt to trick an emergency service (such as a 911 operator) to dispatch an emergency response team. The name is derived from SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics), one type of such team.

History and current status

Swatting has its origins in prank calls to emergency services. Increasing sophistication of the techniques employed and the objectives, notably attempts to direct response units of particular types, and in particular attempts to cause SWAT teams to be dispatched to particular locations, spawned the term swatting. The term may have been coined by the FBI, which investigates these activities.

Techniques

Caller ID spoofing, social engineering, prank call and phone phreaking techniques may be combined. 911 systems (including telephony and human operators) have been tricked by calls placed from cities hundreds of miles away.

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