The Dallas night was interrupted on Friday night and into early Saturday morning when a hacker was able to set off 156 emergency alarms that caused fear, confusion and ultimately frustration amongst the city residents.
City engineers were able to pinpoint the hack to have taken place in the Dallas area, but they have been unable to gather any further identifying information at this time about the hacker.
The sirens were set off 60 times. Emergency 911 was inundated with calls from curious residents. Over 4,400 calls were taken with questions about the alarms, which are normally used to warn of incoming severe weather. The average wait time on the 911 system was approximately six minutes, quite the difference from the usual 10 seconds.
The Dallas Office of Emergency Management did their best under the difficult and unique circumstances. “We’re extremely grateful to fire dispatch and to the Office of Emergency Management,” Sana Syed, the managing director of information for the city of Dallas stated. “These guys came in the middle of the night and did everything they could to get every single siren off by 1:20 a.m. So, within an hour and a half, about, we turned off the entire system.”
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