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Arrest made after teen shuts down multiple 911 call centers in cyber attack using Twitter

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Authorities in Arizona say a teenager almost took down entire 911 systems in multiple states.

Hundreds of calls flooded the system all at once on Tuesday night in Maricopa County. The 911 dispatch center was overflowing with calls after a sophisticated cyber attack.

The Surprise Police Dept reportedly alerted the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) after they received 100 hang-up 911 calls. A third 911 Center in the Phoenix-area was also targeted.

Officials say the twitter hoax tied up lines at 911 centers in multiple states, including Texas and California.  Investigators say the malicious link- promising music and videos- came from a Twitter account out of San Francisco, which had 12,000 followers. If someone clicked on it, a “bug” was put into their phone causing it to automatically dial 911, and even if the caller wanted to hang up they couldn’t.

Cyber detectives say they were able to use GPS coordinates from the suspect’s account to track him down.

The 18-year-old community college student who created the link was identified as Meetkumar Desai. He was questioned by police late Wednesday night and admitted to the 911 system attack, but said he didn’t mean any harm by it. Investigators found that the twitter account was linked to a page named “Meet Desai.”

Desai claims he was trying to get paid by Apple to pinpoint flaws in their software and that hackers would recognize his skills, the local ABC affiliate reported.

He’s now in jail charged with three felony counts of computer tampering.

 

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