Dallas spends $100,000 to upgrade emergency sirens after hack

The Dallas City Council voted to spend up to $100,000 to add security upgrades to the emergency siren system that was hacked recently. The council was briefed behind closed doors about the signal spoof and the city’s contract with West Shore, which, last November, was awarded a $567,368, six-year contract to maintain and repair all 156 of the city’s emergency sirens.

Initially, the city said the sirens, which are radio-controlled via encoded transmitters that send tones, had fired off because of a malfunction. But it had become clear: The system was hacked by someone who had managed to replicate the signal that triggers the system.
City spokeswoman Sana Syed said Wednesday that no one has stepped forward to take responsibility for the hack. Rocky Vaz, Dallas’ director of emergency operations, said over the weekend that officials believe the sirens were activated locally — likely because they are radio-activated, with receivers attached to each of the sirens.