Text Message Spam Detonates Suicide Bomb Early

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News Posted: Sat, Jan 29 2011 7:26 PM
Spam text messages are an annoyance, and perhaps more so than spam email, as each spam SMS message could cost a subscriber who doesn't have an unlimited messaging plan money. However, in this case a spam text message prevented a suicide bombing, saving hundreds of lives.

Russian security forces reported on the incident with a so-called "Black Widow" on Friday. The unnamed woman is thought to be part of the same group that struck Moscow's Domodedovo airport on Monday. She reportedly intended to detonate a suicide belt in a busy area near Red Square on New Year's Eve. It would have been an attack that might have killed hundreds.

Instead, it turns out, a spam SMS message from her cellular provider accidentally set off the device early. The SMS came in just hours before the planned attack, and killer her, but not her two accomplices, who were seen fleeing the scene.

It is common in Russia for Islamist terrorists to trigger bombs with an SMS message. They use cheap unused mobile phones as detonators, with the bomber's "handler," who is generally watching. The "handler" detonates the device by sending a text message which sets off the explosive belt at the moment the "handler" deems is best for maximal damage and injury.

In general the phones are kept turned off until the very last second. In this case, Russian authorities believe that the terrorists were simply lazy or careless.
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3vi1 replied on Sat, Jan 29 2011 8:48 PM

If only they had listened to Yakov Smirnoff: "In America, you delete spam. In Soviet Russia, spam deletes you!"

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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So , what now , will the families of the Suicide bomber hire Daniel Balsam to sue the company that sent the spam?

http://hothardware.com/News/Man-Hates-Spam-So-He-Sues-Companies-To-Stop-It/

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coolice replied on Sat, Jan 29 2011 8:58 PM

I laughed soo hard at the comment, spitting out my coffee all over my keyboard.... Thanks 3vi1

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coolice replied on Sat, Jan 29 2011 9:01 PM

Honestly... i dont know what to say on this one... its sad that there are suicide bombers in the first place. But at the same time, the potential victims were VERY lucky!

I'm glad the extremist got spammed...But i'm hoping no innocent bystander was hurt.

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Inspector replied on Sat, Jan 29 2011 10:55 PM

WOW, who knew spam will one day save us, and we all though spam comes with no good use :D. But thank god she was lazy and careless as well :P

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Dave_HH replied on Sun, Jan 30 2011 12:10 AM

As the saying goes, "karma is a ***."

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roselan replied on Sun, Jan 30 2011 9:42 AM

what people won't do to get a darwin award !

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roselan replied on Sun, Jan 30 2011 9:46 AM

I just wanted to add that this news has it's place on "hot hardware - the hotest tech, tested and burned in". entirely.

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realneil replied on Sun, Jan 30 2011 10:59 AM

Smile Burned-In! Smile

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CDeeter replied on Mon, Jan 31 2011 12:00 AM

Guess they weren't using a smart phone ;-)

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It was a "happy new year!" message from the provider that set it off. Guess it was a happy new year for everyone at the square.

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