Dallas Emergency Sirens Hacked

If you have a pair of ears on your head and you live in/around Dallas, you probably heard the emergency sirens going off last night.

With no severe weather in the area, nor the forecast, everyone was wondering what was going on. As I normally do in these situations, I hopped over to Twitter to check out what @DFWScanner had to say about the situation.

It was clear the folks all over the metroplex were hearing the sirens.

Last night during the incident the City said that the system had malfunctioned, causing all 156 emergency sirens to sound. Emergency crews eventually had to shut down each siren manually and the entire process took a couple of hours.

This morning, however, the City is saying that the system was actually hacked.

“For security reasons, we cannot discuss the details of how this was done, but we do believe that the hack came from the Dallas area. We have notified the FCC for assistance in identifying the source of this hack. We are putting in safeguards to ensure this type of hack does not happen again,” the city said in a news release.

Mayor Mike Rawlings said, “Last night’s hack was an attack on our emergency notification system. We will work to identify and prosecute those responsible.”

This is not the first time Dallas city infrastructure has been hacked.

In January of 2016 DART’s computer system was hacked and the information signs at the train stations were taken offline. The hackers demanded a ransom of $63,000.

No reports of ransom demands due to the siren hack have surfaced.

The City has said they will be working to reactive the emergency siren system throughout the weekend. Officials asked residents to avoid called 911 about the sirens, as they may sound again during reactivation.

Dallas PIO Director Sana Syed that while there was a spike in 911 calls last night, the longest wait time was 2 minutes.


Bradley Joyce

Bradley is the founder of LAUNCH DFW and an avid proponent/supporter of the DFW Startup Community. Bradley is also the founder of Skyrise, a community, communications and concierge platform for commercial office buildings.