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Not so silent night: Dallas emergency siren system hacked

Not so silent night: Dallas emergency siren system hacked

Hackers struck the sirens Dallas uses to alert residents to take shelter from inclement weather, triggering intermittent false alarms for about an hour and a half until officials deactivated the system early Saturday morning. "For security reasons, we can not discuss the details of how this was done, but we do believe the hack cam from the Dallas area". Office of Emergency Management Director Rocky Vaz said his office had to eventually shut down the system.

Dallas spokeswoman Sana Syed said the 911 system was bombarded with over 4,400 calls between 11:30 p.m. and 3:00 a.m., double the number for a normal, eight-hour period overnight.

Locating the hacker, however, "is going to be a very long process if we do find out who actually did it", Vaz said. "We are putting in safeguards to ensure this type of hack does not happen again", the city said in a news release.

Dallas officials said they are collaborating with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to create a wireless alert system that would circulate messages to every cell phone in the area in the event of a real emergency.

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City officials hope to have the system up and running by Sunday or Monday at the latest. "We had no malfunction". Residents are advised to be patient in case the sirens sound again during re-activation and not call 911 or 311.

Syed said that there was a surge in calls to 911 during the time the sirens were sounding.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings promised the perpetrator would be found and prosecuted.