A Florida family got a jarring surprise this week after a hacker hijacked their Xbox 360, and placed a prank 911 call saying that someone had broken into their home, stabbed someone and was holding the rest of the family hostage.
“I come out of my room and they’ve got their guns pointed at me and stuff,” said Hunter Gelinas, who owns the hacked Xbox. “I open my door and I had the whole SWAT team down in the front door. I was like, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to die.'”
According to Hunter’s mother, Daleann, the hacker used “a handicapped line, saying that Hunter had been stabbed and the parents and other people being held hostage at the house,” reports WFTV.com.
The Gelinas’ neighbors were also surprised to see the scenario play out in their usually quiet neighborhood.
“They all had their guns up like they were ready in case anyone was going to fire on them,” said neighbor Sam Murphy. “When I heard it was a hoax, it kind of made more sense because I figured with this neighborhood, nothing ever really happens here.”
The police officers were, understandably, none too pleased with the hoax. In an attempt to discover who the rascal hacker was that pulled the prank, they reportedly took a variety of electronics from the Gelinas home, including several computers and the hacked Xbox. According to the report, the only thing they know so far is that the hacker is Canadian.
Security experts say the only way to keep a person from hacking your gaming system is to leave the console offline. Though, let’s be honest, nobody who owns an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 is going to do that, except perhaps Hunter Gelinas.
“There is nothing there to stop them,” says computer expert Neil Wexell. “Once they gain accessibility to the machine, they can do whatever they want as long as they have the capability and knowledge to do it.”