Urgent Safety Message from FBI
This message is being sent on behalf of the FBI Security Division.
Several current and former FBI employees have been subjected to doxing and/or SWATting incidents over the past year. To increase awareness of these forms of harassment and the importance of protecting your personal information from potential exploitation, the FBI Security Division is providing the following information which may be helpful to you and your family members.
Doxing refers to the internet-based practice of gathering someone’s personally identifiable information (PII) or an organization’s sensitive information from open source or compromised material and publishing it online for malicious purposes. In many instances, these nefarious actors (referred to as doxers) compile sensitive information from a wide range of publicly available data sources, including personal and professional accounts, to develop invasive profiles of their
target(s). These profiles are then published online with the intent to harm, harass, or intimidate.
SWATting entails making a hoax 9-1-1 call in an attempt to draw a response from law enforcement (LE), typically a SWAT Team, to the target’s residence. Those who engage in this activity often utilize technology to give the appearance that the emergency call originated from the target’s phone. Although some cases may be intended as pranks, others are more nefarious in nature with the intent to harm, humiliate, or intimidate the target and/or family members.
Due to the nature of our work, current and former members of the LE community are in some instances targeted by nefarious actors who harbor grievances or wish to intimidate others. Advanced preparation, including the proactive measures listed below, can help mitigate risks associated with doxing and SWATting attempts.
• Exercise effective cyber security practices online to help protect your sensitive information and mitigate risks associated with your digital footprint.
• Consider discussing doxing and SWATting with your family members and have a plan in place in the event of LE contact at your residence.
As always, should you receive any threats to your safety, report these concerns immediately to your local law enforcement agency. In the event you are involved in a doxing or SWATting incident, please notify your local FBI field office as soon as it is feasible.
As former members of the FBI workforce, we thank you for your dedicated public service and your contributions to the FBI’s mission to uphold the Constitution and protect the American people.
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