On March 24, 2018, A network that helps dispatch calls in Baltimore’s 911 center fell victim to a cyber attack on Sunday. The breach was discovered at 8:30 a.m., and the system was back online 17 hours later at 2 a.m.
A statement from city Chief Information Officer Frank Johnson described the attack as a “limited breach” of the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system. Such systems can provide locations of 911 calls digitally, as well as other details. The system is also used for Baltimore’s 311 system.
During that time, the CAD system was down. However, Johnson said emergency service did not stop.
The hack affected messaging functions within the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system which supports 911 and 311 functions in the city.
“I wish to emphasize that these critical services were not impacted nor disrupted at any time, as they were temporarily transitioned to manual mode,” the statement said. “This effectively means that instead of details of incoming callers seeking emergency support being relayed to dispatchers electronically, they were relayed by call center support staff manually.”
Staff from the Baltimore City Office of Information and Technology isolated the server where the breach occurred, and took it offline to take away the threat. Staff then investigated all network systems before bringing CAD back up.
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