911 cyber-attacks: Hackers have taken down dozens of emergency centers in recent months

911 cyber-attacks: Hackers have taken down dozens of emergency centers in recent months

[Ed. – A worrying trend.  As the article notes, it also includes city government systems, like Atlanta’s in late March.  We noted an apparent hack attack just about a year ago in which the public warning sirens were set off around Dallas, TX for two straight hours.]

When news broke last week of a hacking attack on Baltimore’s 911 system, Chad Howard felt a rush of nightmarish memories.

Howard, the information technology manager for Henry County, Tennessee, faced a similar intrusion in June 2016, in one of the country’s first so-called ransomware attacks on a 911 call center. The hackers shut down the center’s computerized dispatch system and demanded more than $2,000 in bitcoin to turn it back on. Refusing payment, Howard’s staff tracked emergency calls with pencil and paper for three days as the system was rebuilt. …

There have been 184 cyberattacks on public safety agencies and local governments in the past 24 months, according to a compilation of publicly reported incidents by the cybersecurity firm SecuLore Solutions.

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