2 Hackers, Apophis Squad Members Arrested For Making False Shooting Bomb Threats To Schools And Airport
Two hackers were charged and arrested for allegedly sowing fear to hundreds of schools and airlines.
An indictment released on Tuesday says that two internet scheme hackers were charged for allegedly sowing fear and public chaos. The two hackers from separate continents were accused of sending false bomb threats as well as shooting coercion to public places such as schools and airlines.
The USA Today hints that the Federal Bureau of Investigation filed charges against George Duke-Cohan, 19, of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom, and Timothy Vaughn, 20, of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. They were both identified as members of a group of worldwide hackers called the Apophis Squad.
The indictment states that both the arrested hackers were hiding behind multiple internet usernames and online handles. George Duke-Cohan uses the usernames "DigitalCrimes" and "DoubleParallax," while Timothy Vaughn used the handles "WantedbyFeds" and "Hacker-R-US."
Duke-Cohan's alleged bomb threats resulted in the evacuation of more than 400 schools in the UK on March 2018 as the British National Crime Agency reported. The British hacker was later charged for sowing chaos to school and was required for a pre-charge bail.
While on his pre-charge bail, Duke-Cohan continued to sow fear shifting his target from schools to the San Francisco Airport. Through a call made to the airport, the British hacker managed to send bomb threats to U.S.-bound flight UAL 949.
Duke Cohan called the airport pretending to be a father who received a phone call from his daughter who was on the flight. On the phone call which was recorded and kept for the investigation files, the pretending father says that his daughter called him asking for help because the plane has been held captive by a hijacker who had a bomb.
The threat resulted in financial loss for the airlines causing delays on the next journeys as the plane with all of the 295 passengers had to be quarantined and undergo clearing operations.
Vaughn, on the other hand, caused the closure of a number of schools by sending fake bomb and shooting threats to primarily sow fear and chaos. He managed to send the threats through emails saying that certain buildings in the schools were planted with pipe bombs.
Apophis Squad as the KrebsOnSecurity calls "internet hooligans" has had previous reports of unnecessary deploying of emergency response teams by sending phony reports asking for their assistance. A California motorsports company was also down for three days due to an attack they did by disabling the company's computer network by flooding it with data.