Nashville Surgeon Target Of Cyber Attack, Kicked Off Cruise Ship - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Nashville Surgeon Target Of Cyber Attack, Kicked Off Cruise Ship

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by Chris Cannon

GALLATIN, Tenn. - Monday afternoon Dr. Jack Kruse sat inside his home overlooking Old Hickory Lake. But the neurosurgeon and diet guru was supposed to be aboard a low-carb cruise. Instead he was kicked off after a cyber-attack.

The Carnival Cruise ship Magic was set to sail from Galveston, TX Sunday afternoon, but a knock on Kruse's stateroom door changed his travel plans.

Galveston Police were outside the door when Kruse opened it, prior to the ship leaving port.

"They start asking my about tweets that I had sent and they wouldn't tell me any of the data around the tweets," Kruse explained.

The doctor was later told Carnival Cruise Lines was tipped off to a suspicious tweet several hours earlier.

"The Twitter feed apparently led people to believe there was going to be some kind of bio-terrorism attack on the boat and it was tied to me," Kruse said.

The tweet came from the account @shitkrusesays and read, "security confiscated dynamite. talk won't be as explosive as one at PaleoFx. still have vial of Legionnaires for epic biohack. #lccruise12."

Kruse had no connection to that Twitter account.

Kruse said investigators came down hard on him at first, searching his stateroom and electronic devices.

"So they assessed fairly quickly that I was, who I was, and I wasn't planning on doing anything to the boat," Kruse said.

Still, Carnival Cruise security removed Kruse's luggage from the ship and then escorted him back to land. This happened after the FBI special agent in charge spoke with the ship's Captain.

"And said you're making an error here, we think this is completely safe, so did Homeland Security, so did the Coast Guard," Kruse said.

Monday a Carnival Cruise spokesperson released a statement to NewsChannel 5 explaining the Captain's actions.

"Since the safety and well-being of our guests and crew is paramount, every security threat is taken seriously and fully investigated.  Since the investigation was ongoing at the point the ship needed to depart, it was in the best interest of all guests and crew to err on the side of caution and not allow him to sail," Jennifer de la Cruz wrote in the statement.

The FBI officially would not comment on this case.

But according to Kruse the agency is now investigating the origin of the threatening tweet sent in his name. The doctor was told agents have made progress.

"I know that one of the main ringleaders that's tied to the twitter feed is in New York and they're probably going to be talking to her very soon," Kruse said.

Kruse was told a conviction for this type of crime could carry anywhere from a ten to twenty year sentence.

Late Monday afternoon a representative from Carnival Cruise Lines contacted Kruse and offered to fly him to Montego Bay to meet up with the cruise he missed. The doctor declined the offer.



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