News

A Hacker Set Off All of Dallas’ Tornado Sirens For Over a Hour

Not cool, bro.

by Mack Lamoureux
09 April 2017, 7:12pm

Photo via flickr user iaBeta

A hacker pulled a massive dick move to kick off the weekend in Dallas.

Thousands of people in the biggest city in Texas were treated to the sounds of city's tornado sirens going off. The sirens, starting at 11:42 Friday night, screamed for about an hour and a half. The wailings of the sirens caused the expected result of fear and mass confusion.

The Dallas News reports that, even after the city asked residents not to call emergency services, the 911 system received over 4,400 calls from citizens spooked by the sirens howls.

The city states that when you hear the siren you are supposed to "take shelter in an interior room like a bathroom or closet. Stay away from windows. Get under pillows or heavy furniture for even more protection." If you're outside you're supposed to "lie in a ditch, ravine, culvert or other low-lying area that isn't prone to flooding."

It's all rather intense.

The catch was there was no tornado—just a jerk behind a keyboard somewhere. This was confirmed by the City of Dallas who, in a press release, said that it was indeed a hacker who set off the sirens.

"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," reads the release. "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."

Originally the city stated that the sirens were going off due to a "malfunction." Mike Rawlings, Dallas' mayor, stated in a Facebook post, that this was "an attack" on the city's emergency notification system. He added that the city would "work to identify and prosecute those responsible."

The city worked until 1:17 AM to get the sirens under control, which they did by pulling the plug on the entire system. Workers are currently working to get the system back up and running without the risk of it being hacked again.

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