We’ve all sent a wrong link or two be it privately messaging someone or posting on our social media accounts. Pretty sure whenever that happened, it didn’t disrupt viable public service.
Maricopa County in Arizona recently experienced that when a major problem occurred with their 911 emergency system thanks to an iOS bug from a teenager in the Phoenix area that accidentally launched a DDoS attack. For those wondering, DDoS stands for distributed denial-of-service.
Meetkumar Hiteshbhai Desai, 18, a bug bounty hunter, got a tip about a recent iOS bug. While testing the bug out for himself he created many weaponized versions. Some would dial a random phone number over and over and some would show annoying pop ups.
After successfully exploiting it, Desai thought it would be “funny” to use this to prank his friends and shared a link over his Twitter account, which has over 12,000 followers. Desai thought he had shared the one that would show the annoying popups, but instead accidentally shared the redial one. The number in this case that would be constantly redialed was 911.
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said that those with iOS devices who clicked on it immediately dialed 911 services all over the United States. Texas and California reported that several of their emergency systems across their respective state had a huge spike in hang-ups. The most notable case was in Phoenix, Arizona, where Desai and many of his friends reside, as the Surprise Police Department received over 100 calls that in a small window of time nearly crashed their system.
Desai was arrested and booked by officers on Monday, October 24 into the 4th Avenue Jail for three counts of felony computer tampering. Upon further investigation into the situation, officers found that over 1,849 people had clicked the link. Desai told officers that all he wanted to do was discover bugs and possibly receive payment for reporting them and gain some notoriety among his friends.
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