The founder of the Mumsnet website has become a victim of a so -called ‘swatting attack’ as hackers tricked armed police into raiding her home.
Justine Roberts claimed an armed response team were called to her house in London in the middle of the night last week after police received reports of a gunman prowling around.
Writing on the Mumsnet website, Roberts said another user of the online network was warned to “prepare to be swatted by the best” on Twitter and sent a picture of a swat team after which an armed police team were also sent to her address.
“Needless to say, she and her young family were pretty shaken up,” Roberts wrote.
Swatting is the practice of calling in fake threats that would require police to take an armed response, often used as malicious attacks on people live streaming bloogs, such as on gaming site Twitch.
Roberts, who has four children, also claimed the website, an online network for parents, was temporarily shut down by hackers.
“On the night of Tuesday 11 August, Mumsnet came under attack from what’s known as denial of service (DDoS) attack, she wrote.
“Our servers were bombarded with requests, which required own internet service provider to massively increase server capacity to cope. We were able to restore the site at 10am on Wednesday 12 August.”
Ms Roberts, who is married to Newsnight editor Ian Katz, claimed a Twitter account @DadSecurity had claimed responsibility for the attack. The account has since been suspended.
She added: “It’s worth saying that we don’t believe these addresses were gained directly from any Mumsnet hack, as we don’t collect addresses. The police are investigating both instances.”
The Met Police confirmed they had investigated the hoax call but that no suspects had as yet been identified.
Read the Mumsnet blog here