Dallas’ emergency warning system hacked

This is the largest known breach of Dallas’ warning system. The city is investigating the incident.

Officials from Dallas have disclosed that a computer hack had set off all of the emergency sirens in the city for around 90 minutes.

This is one of the largest known breach of the warning system.

The 156 sirens in Dallas are typically used to warn residents of dangerous weather systems including tornadoes. The sirens were triggered at 11:42 p.m. CDT on Friday and continued till 1:17 a.m. CDT on Saturday.

Engineers have to manually shut down the sirens’ radio system and repeaters, said Rocky Vaz, the Director of the city’s Emergency Management.

“At this point, we can tell you with a good deal of confidence that this was somebody outside of our system that got in there and activated our sirens,” said Vaz.

In am e-mailed statement, Sana Syed, Dallas’ spokeswoman said, the breach in the city of 1.6 million people appears to have originated in the area.

Citing industry experts, Vaz stated that the hack was the largest ever to affect emergency sirens.

“This is a very, very rare event,” said Vaz.

He went on to add, engineers are working to restart the system and should restore normality by late Sunday. Till then Dallas will rely on emergency 911 phone calls, and the local media for emergency news notifications.

He disclosed that the incident is being investigated by system engineers and the Federal Communications Commission has been contacted. The involvement of local law enforcement agencies has yet to be effected.

The wailing sirens have triggered a firestorm of speculation on twitter, with Garrett S. Bacak at @theinsidiousone tweeting, “Go home dallas, you’re drunk.”

Glynn Wilcox wrote on @glynnwilcox, “At this point I’m never trusting a #siren again.”


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