Alleged TeaMp0isoN teen hackers charged with jamming anti-terrorist hotline

Filed Under: Denial of Service, Featured, Law & order

Teen hacker, courtesy of ShutterstockLast week, UK police arrested two teenage boys following a series of prank calls and DoS (denial-of-service) attacks launched against the Anti-Terrorist Hotline.

A group that goes by the name of TeaMp0isoN posted a recording of what's presumably one of the prank calls on YouTube last Tuesday.

In the recording, a male calling himself Robert West (but called TriCk by another male in the background) chuckled and taunted the hotline operator.

The operator kept the caller on the phone long enough to a) claim to not understand the word "root"; b) taunt the prank caller over his accent, claiming that it sounded like he hailed from the United States (a charge that TriCk denied, stating that he drinks tea and has poor dental hygiene); and, one can only assume, c) trace the call.

Since they're minors, neither of the boys' names were released.

PC World reports that one of the boys, a 17-year-old from Birmingham, was charged in Westminster Magistrates' Court with one count of conspiracy to cause a public nuisance and one count of violating the Computer Misuse Act of 1990.

The other boy, a 16-year-old, was arrested for allegedly making hoax phone calls. He was bailed pending further enquiries, a MPS spokesman told PC World on Monday.

TeaMp0isoNA hacker who goes by the name of TriCk is one of the founders of TeaMp0isoN, a rival of LulzSec that's reportedly motivated by scorn for what they see as LulzSec's low hacking abilities.

TeaMp0isoN has been linked to a few high-profile escapades.

One was the July 2011 release of information about LulzSec members in an attempt to get them arrested.

Another was the January 2011 exploitation of a Facebook bug that led to unauthorized status updates posted on the accounts of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

According to PC World, police reported no confidential communications systems having been breached.

The call posted on YouTube was apparently recorded on the receiving end of the Anti-Terrorist Hotline, which is staffed by police to take tips from the public on potential terrorist-related activity.

When the hotline operators asked what TeaMp0isoN's mission was, the caller replied that it was to "embarrass governments and f*ck the police".

If the recording on YouTube is any indication, one might assume that Robert West/TriCk/whoever made the prank call might well feel embarrassed at this point, given how the police played him like a fiddle.

When the caller asked the operator if he could "root", this is how the conversation went:

Caller: "Yes, can you root?"

Operator: "No, I'm fine, thank you."

Caller: "No, no, no, no, sir, can you root?"

Operator: "Can I roux?"

Caller: "No, root. Root. R-O-O-T."

Operator: "Uhhhhh, yup, I can probably turn my hand to that." [Laughing]

Caller: "WHAT? WHAT, MATE?"

A commenter (calling themselves"Niinami") on the YouTube recording had this to say about the exchange:

You actually thought this was a good prank call? First of all let me just tell you that you got completely f*cking owned by the brits in this conversation... What ever you said they just couldn't care less. And now you have to pay money to get released from custody. This just proves that 16 year olds live in their own little 'world' where they think they know everything and think they are funny. Grow up and get yourself a proper hobby, or at least not fail when prank calling.

But lest we forget, it is likely the prank callers' parents who had to pay money for their spawn's release from custody.

My mind is filled with ideas for alternate hobbies that can replace prank phone calling to the people who protect us from terrorists.

Share your ideas, too, if anything occurs to you.

Teen hacker image, courtesy of Shutterstock

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8 Responses to Alleged TeaMp0isoN teen hackers charged with jamming anti-terrorist hotline

  1. Rattis · 855 days ago

    instead of fining them, considering the kids seem to have the energy. make them do 100-120 hours of community service.

  2. John · 855 days ago

    He should sue his parents for breeding such an ass.

  3. Nick · 855 days ago

    PCWorld link goes to a TeamPoison jpg

  4. Scott · 855 days ago

    How about... Go outside once in awhile.

    When I was a kid we would, until late into the evening, play games of hide and seek (modified, of course, because we thought we were little soldiers), kick the can, and participate in other general mischief.

    The difference is that it was harmless mischief (except for that time I broke my wrist, but that's another story). What these kids are doing may not seem harmful but every minute that a public safety officer spends taking bogus reports means a real report might go unnoticed. It's the reason why we have laws against filing false police reports.

  5. Brooke · 853 days ago

    People commit crimes because of boredom, a pathological need, or desperation. Cyber crimes are no different than every single other crime. The problem is, as a society, we have become so dependent on technology that when it is disrupted, it is devastating.

    While I can understand the call for kids to go outside and do other things, it will be ignored. Due to the rapid rate of technological advances, no one will play outside. The stimulation video games and social networking sites provide supersedes the outdoors.

    We have done this to ourselves. We have ruined our children. Instead of complaining about it we should be attempting to make ourselves less vulnerable to hurt by it. The power lies with in.

  6. Don Colorado · 209 days ago

    It would seem with all the government tracking of phone calls, that the perps could be identified.

  7. With the NSA logging phone calls, it would seem that they could quickly identify the source of these attacks and enable the FBI to nail these offenders.

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About the author

I've been writing about technology, careers, science and health since 1995. I rose to the lofty heights of Executive Editor for eWEEK, popped out with the 2008 crash, joined the freelancer economy, and am still writing for my beloved peeps at places like Sophos's Naked Security, CIO Mag, ComputerWorld, PC Mag, IT Expert Voice, Software Quality Connection, Time, and the US and British editions of HP's Input/Output. I respond to cash and spicy sites, so don't be shy.