Emergency Sirens Set Off Across the DFW Metroplex

Status
Not open for further replies.

Motoballa

Fire/EMS Dispatcher
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 15, 2015
Messages
338
Location
Rowlett, Texas.
My buddy got on the radio and told me he hears sirens, not sure why, so I pulled up my Broadcastify app and saw Mesquite PD / FD had 150 Listeners, and Garland PD / FD had 200, when listening, I didn't hear any traffic that would be considered priority. Then my aunt busts in my room and asks what the sirens going off are for, I run outside and hear a low pitched air raid siren, not a tornado siren, like a military siren. Checked the news, nothing on it. So I went live on my Facebook page about it. Follow the most recent post about it for updates. Or comment updates.

https://www.facebook.com/RowlettGarlandScanner/
 

Motoballa

Fire/EMS Dispatcher
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 15, 2015
Messages
338
Location
Rowlett, Texas.
City of Dallas OEM - "System malfunction with City of Dallas siren system. Crews working to fix. No emergency. Please do NOT call 911. Thank you."
 

cengleman

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 6, 2005
Messages
15
Location
Humble, Texas
When I left the DFW area back in the early 2000's the sirens were activated by un-encrypted tones on an analog frequency. If that is still the case, probably someone recorded the tones and played them back on air.

If they switched to a more secure system, a disgruntled employee or someone who got access set them to go off every 5 minutes starting at 2345.

Since they had to manually shut off each siren....the 1st theory holds more water.

CE
 

hiegtx

Mentor
Premium Subscriber
Joined
May 8, 2004
Messages
8,191
Location
Dallas, TX
When I left the DFW area back in the early 2000's the sirens were activated by un-encrypted tones on an analog frequency. If that is still the case, probably someone recorded the tones and played them back on air.

If they switched to a more secure system, a disgruntled employee or someone who got access set them to go off every 5 minutes starting at 2345.

Since they had to manually shut off each siren....the 1st theory holds more water.

CE
And we have a winner.

Per a release from the city today, Dallas OEM has avknowledged that the sirens were hacked.
Officials: Hacking prompted sirens to go off across Dallas area | WFAA.com
 

SCPD

QRT
Joined
Feb 24, 2001
Messages
0
Location
Virginia
So someone does some r and d, buys a cheap keypad analog you know what and viola. It should have been encrypted to begin with. Seems whoever it was, was monitoring and figured out the dtmf tone coding overtime not hard to do these days with proper things which are not hard to come by.

Question now is, former or current employee with access or someone up to no good for laughs to scare people.
 

SCPD

QRT
Joined
Feb 24, 2001
Messages
0
Location
Virginia
And we have a winner.

Per a release from the city today, Dallas OEM has avknowledged that the sirens were hacked.
Officials: Hacking prompted sirens to go off across Dallas area | WFAA.com
Things like this make system admins go into that dark direction most dislike. While seperate it is most likley managed by the same system manager or manages which when one decision is made they solve the problem entirely from ever occuring again.

What's scary is many entities use dtmf for activating various things. Not many question what if. Here is a prime example to solve a problem in other places before the same occurs.
 

riccom

That scanner geek in the big easy!
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jul 2, 2004
Messages
1,264
Location
New Orleans, LA
City of dallas tornado sirens hacked

Someone messed up!


Sent from my LGLS676 using Tapatalk
 

riccom

That scanner geek in the big easy!
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jul 2, 2004
Messages
1,264
Location
New Orleans, LA
It is not hard to get on The system if you have the right equipment and right dtmf sequence.

Sent from my LGLS676 using Tapatalk
 

riccom

That scanner geek in the big easy!
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jul 2, 2004
Messages
1,264
Location
New Orleans, LA
Well i wonder also, i know alot in Mississippi still do and hinds county used the mswin with a data burst.


Sent from my LGLS676 using Tapatalk
 

Jay911

.
Feed Provider
Joined
Feb 15, 2002
Messages
9,307
Location
Bragg Creek, Alberta

xmo

Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2009
Messages
163
I suspect there are a LOT of these warning siren systems that are subject to the same problem.

Typically the agencies that own the siren systems are on a shoestring budget so they buy simple one-way siren activation controllers. One-way like a pager as opposed to a two-way addressable system (think SCADA) that talks back, handshakes on activation, provided status, etc.

Here is an example of a typical siren controller of the type that would be vulnerable to this kind of "hack":

https://www.fedsig.com/product/fc-siren-controller
 

Jay911

.
Feed Provider
Joined
Feb 15, 2002
Messages
9,307
Location
Bragg Creek, Alberta
Yeah, the system at my father's fire station when I was a kid was set off using simple 2-tone, and it was B-A instead of A-B tones (the inverse of their pagers). To boot, there was a button, kind of like a street call box, on the front of the station, which kids would punch every now and then.
 

hiegtx

Mentor
Premium Subscriber
Joined
May 8, 2004
Messages
8,191
Location
Dallas, TX
Can't believe this is the first time this has happened.
I've lived in Dallas all my life, and this is the first time I recall ALL of the sirens being activated at the same time via a hack, malfunction, whatever. There have been a few cases in the past when one or more in a specific sector of the city have gone off unexpectedly, but I don't recall anything as wide spread as this incident.

Several times last night the sirens in my area seemed to shut down for a few minutes, then started right back up.

I find it interesting that this occurred a couple of days after the monthly test, usually around the Noon to 1PM time frame.
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
14,684
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
I've been to Dallas a few times for work, but have been lucky enough to miss the crappy weather. I think I heard the sirens go off once when I was there, hotel desk said it was periodic testing. (Could have been Cincinatti, though, it all sort of blends together after a while.)

When I was growing up in the early '70's, the city I lived in still had air raid sirens. They'd test them once a month, Friday at 11am. There was one about 2 blocks from where I grew up. Spooky-*** sound, old mechanical siren. My dad lived in London during WW2 and he never liked that sound either, of course he had really good reasons for it, remembers having to go to the bomb shelter while the Germans bombed the crap out of his home.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top