CISA Director Jen Easterly Targeted in Swatting Incident

A phone call to authorities claimed that a shooting had taken place on Easterly's block.

Red and blue police lights with yellow tape reading "police line do not cross"
Source: Pixabay

On Dec. 30, CISA Director Jen Easterly was the target of a swatting incident in her home, sources have revealed.

A 911 call was placed before 9 p.m. with false claims that a shooting occurred in a house on Easterly's block, targeting the Easterly residence in particular. When officers showed up at the house, Easterly was home alone. 

Once the responding officers spoke with Easterly, they determined that no shooting had taken place and there were no injuries.

"One of the most troubling trends we have seen in recent years has been the harassment of public officials across the political spectrum, including extreme incidents involving swatting and direct personal threats," Easterly told Recorded Future News.

Swatting, which some ransomware gangs have adopted as a next-level extortion tactic, is a false 911 call reporting a violent emergency situation in order to enact an armed police response; this is considered a harassment technique that can have fatal consequences. 

"These incidents pose a serious risk to the individuals, their families, and in the case of swatting, to the law enforcement officers responding to the situation," Easterly went on to say.

Easterly described her own swatting experience as harrowing and went on to note of elected officials that have also been targeted by these dangerous threats.

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), a member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, was swatted in December while having dinner with his family and has since introduced legislation in an attempt to prohibit swatting and impose harsh penalties. 

Swatting expert Lauren Krapf considers the phenomenon to be a digital abuse tactic and notes that it being used strategically against senior government officials is "incredibly concerning."

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