Two men have been charged over an alleged week-long US swatting operation in which they used stolen Yahoo email credentials to break into Ring door cameras, livestreamed the events to social media, and then mocked responding cops .
One of the two men, Kya Christian Nelson, aka “ChumLul”, 21, of Racine, Wisconsin, is already behind bars on an unrelated case. But James Thomas Andrew McCarty, right. “Aspertaine,” 20, of Charlotte, North Carolina, was arrested last week.
According to the grand jury indictment returned Friday afternoon, Nelson and McCarty allegedly gained access to home security door cameras sold by Ring for a week in November 2020. To do this, they first illegally acquired usernames and passwords from US Yahoo email users. The men then determined if the account holders also had ring systems connected to internet-controlled doorbell cameras.
If the victim had a Ring account, the duo allegedly made fake 911 calls to local police to get them to come to the victim’s home (aka swatting), and they also streamed the audio and video of the police’s response Police officers on the apartments about the compromised surveillance cameras.
“Nelson and McCarthy verbally taunted responding officers and victims through the ring devices during the police response,” the indictment said [PDF].
In an account detailed in the court documents, Nelson made a fake 911 call while posing as a child and reported a stabbing involving her parents. In another, he reportedly told police he was being held hostage at gunpoint in the victim’s home. And in another, the alleged scumbag said he was a kid and that his father shot his mother.
Both men were charged with a conspiracy to intentionally access computers without permission. Nelson was also charged with two counts of willful access to a computer without authorization and two counts of aggravated identity theft.
If convicted, they each face a maximum of five years in federal prison on conspiracy charges, while Nelson faces an additional seven years on the other counts related to the killing spree.
In total, the indictment names 47 such accounts in Flat Rock, Michigan; Redding, California; Settlements, Montana; Decatur, Georgia; Chesapeake, VA; Rosenberg, Texas; Oxnard, California; Darien, Illinois; Huntsville, Alabama; North Harbor, Florida; and Katy, Texas.
This series of swatting incidents prompted the FBI in late 2020 to warn users of smart home devices with cameras, asking them to use complex, unique passwords and turn on two-factor authentication.
The FBI is continuing to investigate this matter, according to the US Department of Justice. ®
https://www.theregister.com/2022/12/20/ring_swatting_suspects_charged/ Suspects charged with brawl after compromising ring cams • The Register