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September 9, 2011 at 6:30 AM

Sammamish Review: Apparent hacker’s hoax leads to big police presence at Microsoft employee’s home

The Sammamish Review is reporting that at least five police officers rushed to a Microsoft employee’s home in Sammamish after emergency operators received text messages from the resident saying armed men had broken into his home, shot his son and cut the phones lines.

At around 4 a.m. on Aug. 29, police got a 911 call from AT&T Emergency Instant Message Relay, a private service that allows users to report emergencies via text message, the Sammamish Review reports. The operator told police they had received a text message reading: “2 armed Russian males broke in and they shot my son. They have Claymores outside … My door is barricaded … pls hurry!”

The AT&T operator continued to relay increasingly urgent text messages, the Sammamish Review says, including one that read: “There’s a device blinking red on the kitchen table.”

But the 911 operator was able to contact the resident inside, and verified that the alarm was false, just as police arrived. The resident, whom the Sammamish Review described as a high-profile official in the Xbox Live department at Microsoft, went outside to tell police the text messages were likely a hoax, possibly perpetuated in retaliation for his job finding and shutting down hackers who locate Xbox cheats and try to sell them.

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