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Author: Subject: Hacker Sets Off Emergency (Outdoor Sirens) Alarms, Frightening Dallas (Texas) Residents
JackInCT
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[*] Post 507201 posted on 9-4-2017 at 15:26 Reply With Quote
Hacker Sets Off Emergency (Outdoor Sirens) Alarms, Frightening Dallas (Texas) Residents



Hacker Sets Off Emergency (Outdoor Sirens) Alarms, Frightening Dallas (Texas) Residents

04/09/17

First couple of paragraphs:

(CNN) Dallas residents were jolted out of bed late Friday evening after a hacker triggered all the city's emergency sirens, setting off a wave of panic and confusion.

All 156 emergency sirens were activated around 11:40 p.m. in what appeared to be a hacking incident that "woke up a lot of people," Sana Syed, managing director of public information for the city of Dallas, said at a news conference on Saturday.

The Office of Emergency Management was able to turn off all the sirens by 1:20 a.m., said Syed.

"It does appear at this time it was a hack, and it does appear this came from the Dallas area," she said.

As the sirens blared, frightened residents called emergency services and took to social media to voice concern and learn what had happened.

Emergency dispatchers received around 4,400 calls between 11:40 and 3:00 a.m., Syed said. The rush of inquiries caused a backlog, forcing some callers to wait up to six minutes to speak with emergency personnel.

In response to the deluge of inquiries, the city's FBI office posted a tweet informing residents.

Me Here: while many USA municipalities use the so called 'Reverse 911' to inform residents of a civil emergency, many cities still rely on what was once called the civil air raid system--such cities are likely to be in areas where tornadoes are a frequent threat--which is a big chunk of the USA [FYI: Reverse 911 requires a citizen to voluntarily enroll, usually online, in a telephone call system operated by the local municipality; mine calls, when it feels like, almost always when a major snow event is about to occur, and mostly to tell citizens about their cars will be towed if they don't park on a certain side [numerically-odd/even] of the street, etc.,). Did I happen to mention that most locals have never heard of the local reverse 911 system?????). The old local civil air raid sirens either don't work/broken/not maintained, or have been dismantaled, and if any still work, there's probably no one around who knows how to turn it on, i. e., incompetence here in govt is really an art form.

Although the article doesn't state specifically that the hacker activated the sirens via a computer software penetration hack (as opposed to something like a mechanical switch, etc.,.), it goes to show, once again, sigh, just how inept govt is from keeping hackers out re IT competent personnel problems. You will note that it states in the article that it took a couple of hours to shut them off!!! It has a population of about 2 million.

Also noteworthy is the FBI's use of tweets; more and more govt depts in my area are using tweets for this, that, or the other, to include the use of Facebook re criminal activities. And all the towns have their own websites (and large ones too), and major city depts like police/fire dept/library have their own sites (with links to them on the town's site).
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[*] Post 507205 posted on 9-4-2017 at 17:09 Reply With Quote


Any attack on a western country would aim to knock out all forms of communication quickly. Panic and alarm would add to confusion and casualties. To stay or leave the current location? How are my loved ones? Most young people get their information from social media. There would be a lot of headless chickens I suspect.

There is a country not too far from you with several days of protests on the streets. The news blackouts ensure that few outside the area of protest know about it.

In the past, Church bells worked well along with air raid warnings. TV tests of emergency information systems on a regular basis were earlier interventions. Do we go back to that? Will we just go gently into that good night?
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[*] Post 507206 posted on 9-4-2017 at 19:32 Reply With Quote


A kind of addendum to my original topic post:

In case this particular nasty/gruesome thought has, somehow or other, escaped any reader's fertile imagination, I offer up this thought re scenarios: I wonder if the hacker was sophisticated enough (tech wise) to NOT ONLY turn these sirens on via some script/code, BUT ALSO to program the server to refuse any/all commands to cease and desist, i. e., to force the city to send out electricians to each of the 156 siren sites to manually disconnect the siren's power supply. My point here is, hopefully, obvious: never ever underestimate the enemy (re their capabilities) cause they sure don't care about any casualties that they might cause.

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