Last 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.
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.
A 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.Follow @LisaVaas