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Flaw in Emergency Alert Systems Could Allow Hackers to Trigger False Alarms

Flaw in Emergency Alert Systems Could Allow Hackers to Trigger False Alarms

Apr 10, 2018
A serious vulnerability has been exposed in "emergency alert systems" that could be exploited remotely via radio frequencies to activate all the sirens, allowing hackers to trigger false alarms. The emergency alert sirens are used worldwide to alert citizens about natural disasters, man-made disasters, and emergency situations, such as dangerous weather conditions, severe storms, tornadoes and terrorist attacks. False alarms can create panic and chaos across the city, as witnessed in Dallas last year , when 156 emergency sirens were turned on for about two hours, waking up residents and sparking fears of a disaster. Dubbed " SirenJack Attack ," the vulnerability discovered by a researcher at Bastille security firm affects warning sirens manufactured by Boston-based ATI Systems, which are being used across major towns and cities, as well as Universities, military facilities, and industrial sites. According to Balint Seeber, director of threat research at
Here's How Hacker Activated All Dallas Emergency Sirens On Friday Night

Here's How Hacker Activated All Dallas Emergency Sirens On Friday Night

Apr 13, 2017
Last weekend when outdoor emergency sirens in Dallas cried loudly for over 90 minutes, many researchers concluded that some hackers hijacked the alarm system by exploiting an issue in a vulnerable computer network. But it turns out that the hackers did not breach Dallas' emergency services computer systems to trigger the city's outdoor sirens for tornado warnings and other emergencies, rather they did it entirely on radio. According to a statement issued on Monday, Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax clarified the cause of the last Friday's chaos, saying the "hack" used a radio signal that spoofed the system used to control the siren network centrally. "I don't want someone to understand how it was done so that they could try to do it again," Broadnax said without going much into details. "It was not a system software issue; it was a radio issue." First installed in 2007, the Dallas outdoor emergency warning system powers 156 sire
Timing is Everything: The Role of Just-in-Time Privileged Access in Security Evolution

Timing is Everything: The Role of Just-in-Time Privileged Access in Security Evolution

Apr 15, 2024Active Directory / Attack Surface
To minimize the risk of privilege misuse, a trend in the privileged access management (PAM) solution market involves implementing just-in-time (JIT) privileged access. This approach to  privileged identity management  aims to mitigate the risks associated with prolonged high-level access by granting privileges temporarily and only when necessary, rather than providing users with continuous high-level privileges. By adopting this strategy, organizations can enhance security, minimize the window of opportunity for potential attackers and ensure that users access privileged resources only when necessary.  What is JIT and why is it important?   JIT privileged access provisioning  involves granting privileged access to users on a temporary basis, aligning with the concept of least privilege. This principle provides users with only the minimum level of access required to perform their tasks, and only for the amount of time required to do so. One of the key advantages of JIT provisioning
Hacker Caused Panic in Dallas by Turning ON Every Emergency Siren at Once

Hacker Caused Panic in Dallas by Turning ON Every Emergency Siren at Once

Apr 10, 2017
We have seen hackers flooding 911 emergency service with rogue requests to knock the service offline for an entire state, but some hacking incidents are worse than others. One such incident took place in Dallas on Friday night when hacker triggered a network of 156 emergency warning sirens for about two hours, waking up residents and sparking fears of a disaster. The emergency warning sirens — designed to warn citizens of the Texas about dangerous weather conditions, such as severe storms and tornados — were activated around 11:40 p.m. Friday and lasted until 1:20 a.m. Saturday. The city officials tried to inform residents not to call 911 as there was not any emergency situation in the city, but the 911 system was nevertheless flooded with over 4,400 calls from panicked residents. Rocky Vaz, director of Dallas Office of Emergency Management (OEM), told the Dallas Morning News that the alarms blasted about 15 times for 90-second durations. You can even watch video footage o
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