After Newtown tragedy, cops target social net pranksters
Connecticut State Police warn they will prosecute anyone posting false info, threatening
Computerworld - In the wake of the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Conn, police warned that they will prosecute anyone purposefully posting false information related to the incident on social networks.
"Misinformation is being posted on social media sites," said Connecticut State Police Lt. J. Paul Vance at a news conference Sunday, according to a report on NPR. "These issues are crimes. They will be investigated, statewide and federally, and prosecution will take place when people perpetrating this information are identified."
Vance pointed out that since last Friday's shooting at the elementary school, online posters have posed as the dead gunman, Adam Lanza, on social networking sites. Others have falsely taken on the identities of other figures in the involved in the incident and posted threatening messages. Twenty children and six adults were murdered Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
The tragedy has driven people around the world to express grief and offer support on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+. People often find solace connecting with their online friends, even setting up memorial pages, experts say.
However, some people are also quick to spread false information after such an incident.
Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with ZK Research, said he's not surprised that police have threatened to arrest people who are posting false or threatening information online.
"Fake posts and tweets obstruct the investigation," he said.
He suggested that many people who post false information are seeking attention. "I think fake posts are for attention. Never underestimate an idiot in situations like this. For many people, negative attention is better than no attention," Kerravala said.
Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her e-mail address is email@example.com.
- Arrests made after international cyber-ring targets StubHub
- International police operation disrupts Shylock banking Trojan
- Spamhaus pushes for arrests of alleged DDoS participants
- Accused Russian point-of-sale hacker arrested, will face U.S. charges
- No-IP regains control of some domains wrested by Microsoft
- Microsoft legal action cramping other hacking campaigns, Kaspersky says
- Microsoft admits technical error in IP takeover, but No-IP still down
- QuickPoll: Why hasn't Windows XP come under attack from hackers?
- Cybercrime losses top $400 billion worldwide
- U.S., foreign agents disrupt Gamover Zeus botnet
Read more about Cybercrime and Hacking in Computerworld's Cybercrime and Hacking Topic Center.
- Enable secure remote access to 3D data without sacrificing visual perfomance Design and manufacturing companies must adapt quickly to the demands of an increasingly global and competitive economy. To speed time to market for...
- Virtually Delivered High Performance 3D Graphics "A picture is worth a thousand words." That old phrase is as true today as it ever was. Pictures (i.e., those with heavy...
- Best Practices for Securing Hadoop Historically, Apache Hadoop has provided limited security capabilities. To protect sensitive data being stored and analyzed in Hadoop, security architects should use a...
- Top Tips for Securing Big Data Environments: Why Big Data Doesn't Have to Mean Big Security Challenges Organizations must come to terms with the security challenges they introduce. As big data environments ingest more data, organizations will face significant risks...
- What should I look for in a Next Generation Firewall? SANS Provides Guidance With so many vendors claiming to have a Next Generation Firewall (NGFW), it can be difficult to tell what makes each one different....
- Responding to New SSL Cybersecurity Threat The featured Gartner research examines current strategies to address new SSL cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities. All Security White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!