Early last Saturday morning Dallas residents woke up to blaring city emergency sirens. City officials said an unknown culprit hacked the loud sirens on Friday night just before midnight. The alarms continued sounding early on Saturday morning. According to the Director of Dallas’ Office of Emergency Management, Rocky Vaz, all of the city’s 156 sirens activated several times.
In a telephone interview, Sana Syed, a spokeswoman for the city said that the sirens should only activate to alert city residents to extreme weather conditions and other emergencies like bomb or missile attacks. City officials did not give more details of the breach despite many people complaining about the incident on social media. More than a million Dallas residents spent most of the night in terror wondering what was going on.
Syed said that she understood their concern especially after the recent airstrikes in Syria. When asked where the hacking originated, Syed stated that they believe it came from the Dallas area. She noted that to pull such a thing off, a hacker has to have close proximity to their signal.
Not all fun and games
Other city residents found the whole incident amusing. Some posted images of Russian President on Twitter, with captions that hinted that the possibility of his involvement.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said that authorities will do everything they can to find the person responsible and prosecute them. The city approached the Federal Communications Commission to help track the culprit that caused the annoyance. They are also busy looking for emergency system alternatives as a precaution because there may be storms early next week.
In fact, Council member Philip Kingston, a Public Safety Committee member, said that the compromised emergency system is now their primary agenda. Kingston gave an indication that they will have to ignore other important issues to deal with the matter.
“You can put me down as terrified,” said Kingston on the possibility of a hacker may have caused the emergency system situation. Mayor Mike Rawlings admitted that the old Dallas electronic infrastructure needed upgrading.
A similar incident happened in Dallas just last year. Someone hacked into Dallas traffic lights making them spell electronic messages like “Work Cancelled-Go Back Home.” No one knew whether it was a prank or just plain vandalism. If they do not catch the person responsible, it may happen again, and this time someone may get hurt.
When such a public display of city infrastructure hacking occurs, naturally one tends to look at their current personal protection. To better protect your smart home from a personal hacker attack, it is best to have a centralized security panel. The 2GIG GC3 Panel works perfectly for that, as well as these other panels. With Enlight.tech, you can read more about each panel, and also check out YouTube videos and the PDF user manuals for each.