(U//FOUO) The Ohio Fusion Center Network (OFCN) has been made aware of multiple bomb-threats and SWATTING incidents in Ohio schools and schools across the country.
(U//FOUO) SWATTING is the act of sending a SWAT team or some type of law enforcement response to a location by convincing law enforcement that an incident has occurred or is about to occur that requires immediate law enforcement response.
(U//FOUO) Characteristics of swatting include, but are not limited to: Callers using internet-based phones such as Skype USBUS and Magic Jack USBUS, or callers using a legal Caller Identification (ID) masking service. Caller ID spoofing/masking services permit cell phones and landline phones to spoof the call’s origins through a service fee based software.
(U//FOUO) Reports of bomb-threats and SWATTING incidents are coming from area elementary, middle, and high schools, along with universities as well. Federal, state, and local partners are working to identify where the calls are originating from.
(U//FOUO) Although agencies are investigating these incidents as possible hoaxes, emergency responders and school officials are advised to handle each event on a case-by-case basis.
(U) Priority Information Needs
(U//FOUO) OFCN is seeking any information that would be helpful to identify and mitigate the source of these threats. Please report any information you may have to your local fusion center.
(U//FOUO) Key Questions:
(U//FOUO) Has your agency received any swatting calls and if so, in what manner (what did the caller report)? Are you aware of similar calls attempting to deploy other first responders such as bomb disposal units, fire-fighting assets and/or emergency medical services?
(U//FOUO) What potential swatting indicators were noted (tone of the caller, background noise, extensive claims by the caller, change in story, only one caller for a high profile incident, etc.)?
(U//FOUO) What effect did this swatting create (personnel deployment, additional resources required, injuries, counter surveillance, crime occurred in another area once resources were diverted for the swatting call, etc.)?
(U//FOUO) What methods were used to complete the swatting? Was the caller identification changed by Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)?
(U//FOUO) Was a source or person identified as the cause of the swatting? What key evidence was located?