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Not so silent night: Dallas emergency siren system hacked

Not so silent night: Dallas emergency siren system hacked

The City of Dallas confirmed an apparent hacking triggered emergency sirens to sound across the Dallas area Friday night into early Saturday morning.

Reports are pouring in of tornado sirens sounding throughout the Dallas area, including downtown. There are 156 outdoor warning sirens in the city of Dallas. The initial incident prompted a wave of calls to 911 by residents anxious there was some sort of threat. The rush of inquiries caused a backlog, forcing some callers to wait up to six minutes to speak with emergency personnel. 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.

The city has asked for assistance from the Federal Communications Commission in determining who was behind the hack.

The Office of Emergency Management was able to turn off all the sirens by 1:20 a.m., said Syed. "We will work to identify and prosecute".

More news: U.S. expects legal, open resolution of Ecuador election concerns

Many people, naturally, found the sirens unsettling and some took to Twitter to post video of the incident while the city collectively wondered what impending doom the sirens might be warning of.

The city's emergency alarm system should be back up and running by Sunday, said Vaz.

"This is yet another serious example of the need for us to upgrade and better safeguard our city's technology infrastructure".

According to Dallas PIO director Sana Syed, there was no emergency or weather alert. "Making the necessary improvements is imperative for the safety of our citizens".

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