Dallas officials blame computer hacking for setting off emergency sirens throughout the city early Saturday.

Rocky Vaz, director of Dallas' Office of Emergency Management, said that all 156 of the city's sirens were activated more than a dozen times.

Officials don't know who was responsible for the hacking, but Vaz said "with a good deal of confidence that this was someone outside our system" and in the Dallas area.

The city has figured out how the emergency system was compromised and is working to prevent it from happening again, he said. It's a "very concerning" issue that Dallas has never faced.

Although Vaz said that identifying who sounded the sirens will be like "finding a needle in a haystack," Mayor Mike Rawlings said authorities will "find and prosecute whomever is responsible."

"This is yet another serious example of the need for us to upgrade and better safeguard our city's technology infrastructure," Rawlings said. "It's a costly proposition, which is why every dollar of taxpayer money must be spent with critical needs such as this in mind. Making the necessary improvements is imperative for the safety of our citizens."

Authorities initially described the problem as a system malfunction when the sirens started blaring shortly before midnight Friday.

City spokeswoman Sana Syed said about 12:30 a.m. that Dallas Fire-Rescue crews were working to fix the problem. But it took until about 1:20 a.m. to silence them for good because the emergency system had to be deactivated.

The system remained shut down Saturday while crews safeguarded it from another hack. The city said the system should be restored Sunday or Monday in time for thunderstorms that are expected to begin rolling through the area early next week.

One of the biggest challenges the security breach posed was to the city's 911 call system, which has been strained recently by technical difficulties and short staffing.

source: https://www.dallasnews.com/news/dall...-clear-weather