Siren Malfunction

Malfunction of Dallas tornado siren system triggered by mysterious hack

Malfunction of Dallas siren system triggered by mysterious hack

Tornado siren
This woke up many people in Dallas last night. Wikimedia

The city of Dallas' tornado emergency siren system was hacked on April 7, resulting in a city-wide malfunction that set off the sirens for two hours in the middle of the night.

According to a release from the city, at 11:42 p.m. Friday night, all 156 sirens in the City of Dallas were activated. The Office of Emergency Management, OEM, immediately began to go through various protocols to turn the sirens off. By 1:17 am, OEM was successful in deactivating the entire outdoor warning siren system. OEM worked with engineers throughout the night to determine what triggered the sirens.

"We can state at this time that the City's siren system was hacked Friday night," says a city spokesperson. "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's top priority is to work on reactivating the system. They won't know the health of the sirens until the system is reactivated. Residents are advised to be patient in case the sirens sound again during re-activation and not call 911 or 311.

When they're about to test sirens, they'll issue a public notice via social media. You can monitor the City of Dallas on Twitter or Facebook and Dallas Office of Emergency Management on Twitter or Facebook.

Dallas OEM director Rocky Vaz and city spokesperson Sana Syed hosted a press conference on the malfunction which can be viewed on Facebook.

Siren testing is ordinarily done at noon on the first Wednesday of each month, weather permitting.