In late October of last year, 911 emergency call systems in a dozen states went down for a dozen hours during a cyberattack, as reported by The Wall Street Journal. The hackers in question used “zombie” calls to flood the lines with hundreds of requests in order to take out the system.
The cyberattack spanned parts of California, Florida, Texas, and Washington. Federal officials were reportedly worried that something like this could have happen since many of the systems are outdated and could have been susceptible to these attacks. Trey Forgety, the director of government affairs at the National Emergency Number Association, said their greatest fears were realized with this incident, and they need to change their methods and systems:
“If this was a nation-state actor that wanted to damage or disable 911 systems during an attack, they could have succeeded spectacularly. This was a serious wake-up call.”
Luckily, no one in the affected areas was prevented from seeking help for serious injury during this cyberattack.