back to article Hackers pwn Baltimore's 911 system?! Quick, someone call 91– doh!

The US city of Baltimore suffered a brief outage on part of its 911 service at the weekend – and hackers are being blamed. The Baltimore Sun reports that a cyber-attack on the city's network forced the emergency service's Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) offline. The CAD system is used by 911 operators to direct first responders …

  1. JustWondering
    Unhappy

    Hacking 911

    People that do things like this should be sentenced to life with nothing but dial up internet access.

    1. VikiAi
      Flame

      Re: Hacking 911

      Via acoustic coupler.

      1. Jamesit

        Re: Hacking 911

        At a phone booth on a noisy road.

        1. DJV Silver badge

          Re: Hacking 911

          ...using a Vic-20

  2. Mark 85 Silver badge

    It would seem this attack was very pinpoint targeting just the one server and makes it seem to be, to me at least, an inside job. Yet.... it doesn't make sense unless someone was trying to make a point to the city officials about their systems. If it was to the public that they are vulnerable then that's a different point. If not an insider then was this a test run for something in the future? Too many questions remain unanswered.

    1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      The story suggests that the hack was to disrupt 911 calls during the anti-gun protests, which implies to me that there was also going to be an attack on protesters - such aps a mass shooting (and we say Americans don't do irony?) Although that didn't happen.

      But on the other hand, the hack may have been pro-protester - I'm reaching here, but imagine a plot to phone 911 and falsely report that the protesters had pulled out guns and were shooting bystanders. Cue police rushing up in cars to shoot dead any black people on the scene.

      Or someone may have hacked the wrong computer - say they were led to believe that it's the server that Vladimir Putin uses to order his assassinations.

      Then again, who knows, maybe it is.

  3. I3N
    Headmaster

    Wow ... get to use this icon ...

    As The Voice of 9-1-1™, NENA is on the only professional organization solely focused on 9-1-1 policy, technology, operations, and education issues.

    NENA Call Answering Standard/Model Recommendation

    NENA 56-005.1, June 10, 2006, Revised 8/31/2017

    3.3 Standard Answering Protocol – 9-1-1 lines. All 9-1-1 lines at a primary Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) shall be answered beginning with “9-1-1.”

    Comment: The correct answering statement is “Nine-One-One”, never “Nine Eleven”. Additional information or questions may be added, as in: “9-1-1, what is the emergency?”, or “9-1-1 what is the address of the emergency?”.

    1. Aladdin Sane
      Coat

      Re: Wow ... get to use this icon ...

      The UK equivalent is called NEENAW.

  4. Haku
  5. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

    We're told the attack was directed at a specific server, and took down the CAD system

    The server was targeted to send a message to management about how a critical piece of equipment doesn't have redundancy.

    If this is how lax IT managers are with network security then WannaCry &/or Petya would've been shut down the American government.

  6. Aladdin Sane
    Pint

    go down to the wire

    Nice --->

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    from 8.30am Saturday until around 2am Sunday

    That's not a brief outage at all!

  8. Anonymous Coward
  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hearsay?

    Can anyone verify that this was actually caused by hackers? I'm growing somewhat skeptical of some of these claims: I've seen that excuse used to cover up IT incompetence.

    1. Valeyard

      Re: Hearsay?

      No it's actually true. Then the hackers put some horrible code in my commit history that broke stuff.

  10. ecofeco Silver badge

    And now Atlanta is pwned

    Atlanta's entire system is locked down from ransomware for the last 5 days.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021