Not so silent night: Dallas emergency siren system hacked

Not so silent night: Dallas emergency siren system hacked

More than 150 emergency sirens were set off in Dallas yesterday sparking terror among citizens about impending doom.

Dallas' 156 sirens, normally used to warn of tornadoes and other unsafe weather, were triggered at 11:42 p.m. CDT on Friday. More than 4,400 residents called 911 to report the alarms, extending the normal wait time for callers from 10 seconds to about six minutes, according to USA Today's report. According to Syed, the system is now back online and operational.

'We can't talk a whole lot about the hack itself, because obviously we don't want this to happen again, ' Syed said. The wailing did not end until 1:17 a.m. CDT on Saturday when engineers manually shut down the sirens' radio system and repeaters, city Emergency Management Director Rocky Vaz said.

The city officials were forced to unplug the entire emergency system to put a stop to the sirens. It would appear that one or more individuals tapped into the network's grid and managed to inject a repeat command, meaning that the sirens were stuck on a loop, transmitting the emergency tornado signal over and over again.

While city officials don't know who hacked the system, Vaz added that officials have a "good deal of confidence that this was someone outside our system".

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has reportedly been informed of the hack but police have not been involved so far.

Meanwhile, Mike Rawlings, the Mayor of Dallas, declared during a press conference that, in light of the recent events, the need to upgrade the existing security grid grow direr. "We will work to identify and prosecute those responsible". It's a costly proposition, which is why every dollar of taxpayer money must be spent with critical needs such as this in mind.

Officials said they kept stopping the alarms, but the intruder kept restarting the sirens. Early Sunday morning Sana Syed, the city's public information officer, tweeted saying: "The outdoor warning siren system now operational".

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