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911 Outages Across Four States Raise Concerns Amid Cybersecurity Warnings

911 Outages Across Four States Raise Concerns Amid Cybersecurity Warnings

Late Wednesday, law enforcement agencies in Nebraska, Nevada, South Dakota, and Texas found themselves in a race against time as major 911 outages left millions unable to contact emergency services. 

The disruption, which impacted residents across these states, prompted urgent investigations and raised questions about the reliability of critical communication systems.

The Outage Details

While many of the outages were resolved by late evening, the cause remains elusive. Officials have not definitively pinpointed the source of the disruption. 

However, the timing is noteworthy: it coincides with a recent Department of Homeland Security warning regarding heightened cyberattack risks on 911 services as they transition to internet-based platforms

Despite the widespread impact, there is currently no evidence suggesting a deliberate cyberattack or other malicious intent behind the outages.

 Law enforcement officials, speaking to NBC News, emphasized that their investigation is ongoing.

Recent 911 History and AT&T Incident

The recent AT&T outage, which occurred less than two months ago, serves as a stark reminder of the vulnerability of emergency communication systems. 

Thousands were left without service across multiple states during that incident, and some 911 calls were affected for hours. 

AT&T attributed the disruption to a process error rather than a cyberattack.

State-Specific Impact

In South Dakota, local law enforcement reported a full statewide outage shortly before 7 p.m. local time (9 p.m. ET). 

Rapid City police swiftly provided alternative phone numbers for residents to reach first responders, and service was eventually restored after approximately two hours. 

Additionally, the South Dakota Department of Public Safety highlighted that texting to 9-1-1 remained operational in most locations as an alternative means of contacting authorities.

Photo: 911 Alternative Number

Meanwhile, in Nevada, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police issued a warning around 7 p.m. local time (10 p.m. ET), informing residents of the ongoing 911 outage. Locals were urged to dial 911 from their mobile devices, as dispatch could still see and call back those calls. However, landlines were not functioning during the outage.

 Fortunately, by 9 p.m. (midnight ET), regular 911 service was restored, providing relief to concerned callers.

As investigations continue, the focus remains on safeguarding emergency communication channels and ensuring swift responses during critical situations.


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