Not so silent night: Dallas emergency siren system hacked

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Not so silent night: Dallas emergency siren system hacked

Residents in Dallas had a rude awakening Friday night when 156 emergency sirens wailed throughout the city, and officials are saying the sirens were triggered by a hack, CBS Dallas/Fort Worth reports. The surge in 911 calls has caused a wait time up to 2 minutes. City says it's a malfunction. Officials say all of the city's 156 outdoor sirens that are used to alert people to shelter indoors during severe weather.

The city hopes to have the alert system back up and running by Sunday night or Monday afternoon.

The OEM successfully deactivated the siren system at around 1:20 a.m. Saturday while trying to determine what caused them to trigger.

Vaz says investigators have asked the Federal Communications Commission to help determine who was behind the hack.

Dallas spokeswoman Sana Syed said fire dispatch crews were working to fix the problem.

WFAA viewers reported sirens sounding in other communities besides Dallas. A Google Trends feature revealed that the peak time people were searching online for information on why the sirens were blaring was at 11:48 p.m. "Right now, our priority is to work on reactivating our system".

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings described the incident as "an attack on our emergency notification system".

About 1 a.m. Garland police said that city's sirens were going off in error as well and that they were working to fix them.

"This is yet another serious example of the need for us to upgrade and better safeguard our city's technology infrastructure", he posted on Facebook. "Making the necessary improvements is imperative for the safety of our citizens".

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