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Why the Dallas siren hack was just the beginning

The Friday night hack that set emergency sirens blaring across Dallas for more than 90 minutes was likely not the last attack of its kind. Officials say the siren system used unencrypted radio signals to communicate. And Mike Murray, VP of security intelligence at security firm Lookout, says plenty of critical infrastructure nationwide was built before manufacturers really thought about network security.

“A lot of that equipment is meant to last a long, long time,” he says. “Because of that, systems that were built in the 1990s are still in wide deployment and use today.”

With upgrade costs often significant, it’s likely the Dallas hack was just the latest in a long line of hacks on vulnerable infrastructure, from TV signal and emergency broadcast hijackings to digital highway advisory sign vandalism.  


[Image: City Of Dallas]SM