Hackers Trigger Dallas Emergency Sirens Over a Dozen Times

/ 6 years ago

Dallas Texas At Night

With most hacks, the targets have generally only been able to compromise less secure private networks. While governments have been under assault, critical systems have largely remained unscathed with a few notable exceptions. Over the weekend, some hackers added to the list of exceptions with their latest target. Dallas, Texas was the target of an attack that triggered the city’s emergency siren system.

Shortly before midnight on Friday, hackers were able to breach the system controlling the city’s emergency siren system. After triggering the system, emergency workers would immediately turn it back off, with over a dozen back and forths. After an hour and half of struggle, the city ended up shutting the down system entirely after ensuring that the system was only triggered by the hackers and not some kind of real emergency.

During the whole debacle and immediately afterwards, the city’s emergency 911 call centre was inundated with calls from concerned residents. Double the number of calls were received and wait times jumped to a massive 6 minutes. So far, the system is already back up online but Dallas officials are stepping up the safeguards around the emergency siren system. There is no word yet on the vulnerability of type of breach that occurred and if any other system were compromised.

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