911 has been down today in major cities in various states across the US, including Arizona, Idaho, Texas, Missouri, Oregon... and maybe more.
I only realized this because I used to live in northern Arizona and received an emergency alert earlier today about 911 service being down in that area... then a couple hours later received the local one for King County, WA. After looking around a bit it turned out to be all over the US.
This automated message was sent by a Sage Digital ENDEC. Do not reply to this
Alert Received at 12/27/18 22:54:40 from CAP
Matched filter CIVIL,
Received from CAP.
EOM Received at 12/27/18 22:54:42.
The Civil Authorities have issued a 911 Telephone Outage Emergency for all of
Washington beginning at 10:53 pm and ending at 11:53 pm (fromcap). Washington
State is currently experiencing multiple 911 outages in different parts of the
state resulting in citizens receiving a busy signal. If this occurs during an
emergency please contact the local non emergency number for your area.
The most likely explanation is the holiday effect where people go on vacation and stuff goes wrong.
The sheriffs office is blaming centurylink.
0118 999 881 999 119 725 3
I'm not saying its anyone one in particular but it is smart to test your weapons before having to rely on them. And its a pretty well established fact that the US power system security is lacking.
Maybe i'm just being paranoid but I'm a security engineer. I'm supposed to be.
If you wanted to test your cyber weapons, I’d imagine you wouldn’t want to draw too much attention to yourself by testing them simultaneously.
On the other hand, years of cost cutting and other “efficiency” measures can easily explain both the problems with the power grid as well as the 911 networks.
"Operators reported that they did not suspect a
cyber attack because unexplained crashes were normal for the system."
That exerpt comes from this report which was released two months ago.
We're no longer in a time when Occams razor tells us that the giant radio active spike over the ocean is a nuclear weapons test. Now Occams razor tells us that every crash is simply due to bad hardware or (and sometimes both) a lack of funding.
With a national attitude like that, random unexplained crashes of other critical systems shouldn't be a surprise.
this only makes me more concerned
US local politicians are vocals enough about it.
I'm not saying it's happening, but I certainly see the potential profitability in it.
One of the many tricks to power is pleading powerlessness on the things you actually planned ahead of time while claiming full responsibility for things that are accidental.
It's possible this could be some secret plot disguised as incompetence, but it's also totally reasonable for an event like this to happen from incompetence alone, and I don't think it would surprise anyone if that were the case. So we ought to focus on the reality that this kind of outage is totally possible due to incompetence and implement measures to prevent that.
To be honest, when I first heard Hanlon's razor, I immediately wondered what nefarious stuff Hanlon had been up to that he wanted to deflect attention away from.
Is a bit like the old aphorism 'You can't cheat an honest man', which is of most use to con artists trying to put honest people at ease before then cheating them.
edit - also you are misrepresenting Hanlon's razor. It is not an argument that says that stupidity is merely more likely, rather it says - "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity".
Unless you wanted to send a message about "we can do this too" ...or a response. Lots of things we don't know but a few people in NSA/CIA might know what this is about--if it was done by a foreign power.
But also things happen by random chance.
True, but that assumes this would be a test rather than an actual attack. There are motives where substantial but non-crippling disruption could be the goal.
Or a provider of DDOS-protection that is running their own DDOS botnet for kicks? Mirai comes to mind here... :-)
Yes, I know. I'm saying it's not impossible that this is an actual attack, not a test.
Also, they made their tracks known with Torrah quotes in the code.
No, you really shouldn't. Every bad thing can happen unless you protect against it, but being paranoid isn't helpful for this industry.
This was going to happen eventually. If they didn't want this to happen then the funding would be there to have this system built up with triple redundancy (or possibly 7 times, maybe they have triple). We all do the best with the funding we have. The good thing about this is that they assessed the problem and they had remediations for it. They announced it publicly (using several methods) and they have an alternative line.
Of course, it's also quite likely that this is just a coincidence and the transformer and network outage were just ordinary accidents.
(I don't known which happened first, but on the reddit video of the transformer explosion says "8 hours ago", while this twitter post is 4 hours ago, so I'm guessing the transformer exploded first.)
But my money is at least partially on federal understaffing during a shut down having a variety of downstream effects.
I don't mean this as any kind of criticism - I guess it's just a cultural difference. For example we had someone shut down the second busiest airport in our country last week by flying a drone around and the assumption here (by the man on the street and the media in general) was "idiot with a new toy" rather than "terrorist attack".
I honestly think you are mistaken. It certainly crosses some peoples' minds, and I imagine that any issue will make someone consider it might be terrorism.
But I bet if a bunch of smoke came pouring out of your tube, somebody would wonder if a bombing was attempted. I don't think we're that different that way.
As a longtime Hacker News reader, it's interesting to see how strong the urge is for non-American readers to make generalizations about Americans based on cherry-picked data that suits their paradigms.
> For example we had someone shut down the second busiest airport in our country last week by flying a drone around and the assumption here (by the man on the street and the media in general) was "idiot with a new toy" rather than "terrorist attack".
Aside from the fact that (a) there were people speculating about terrorists at LGW, (b) the common response of New Yorkers last night was not to assume it was a terrorist attack, you're also comparing a drone flying over an airport to a massive explosion that lights up the sky for a prolonged period of time - over a minute - with bright pulsating blue light.
I was watching Sky News. It immediately went with terrorism speculation when the drone was first reported.
Add to that the near-daily school shootings, miscellaneous other mass shootings, and general sense of frustration & helplessness about ongoing Russian cyberwarfare and interference with our elections (I mean, for God's sake, it seems reasonable to suspect that our President could actually be a Russian intelligence asset), and the zeitgeist has become one of heightened paranoia.
Americans are just different from other english-speaking countries (the thing people tend to think of as the closest comparison.) It could be a strength or a weakness depending on how you think about it. There are definitely changes that you can attribute to 9/11 such as the Patriot Act, airport security, etc. However, I don't think Americans think much differently that might have done during the Cold War.
Now personally, I figured it would be normal seeing military birds flying over head en route to one of the three bases, like I said, we were within two hours drive to one of three installations, by air probably even less.
Evidently the rest of the township at the municipal airport I was working at thought otherwise-and didn't find it so 'normal'. "Jade helm" (speaking of post 9/11 'events') went from a painfully reported news story for three straight weeks to a bit of a joke in our office, but before that nothing could stop people from phoning my desk at general aviation to ask if we were under attack or what business the military has flying over civilian airspace.
"Sir", I would say (or ma'am if appropriate), "we're one hour from Lackland AFB in San Antonio, this is normal aviation activity, those boys are probably just finishing some training and heading back to base for some R&R".
Would wager....15 calls a day, more on the weekends if the hornets were practicing for a flyover of DKR up in Austin for a Texas football game.
I completely forgot, the calls got to the point where we had a dedicated phone line installed just so people could call in and get ATIS-ish type information from general aviation-and one of the pre-recorded bulletins, I think the very first thing callers hear was "General aviation does not intercept, record, or log the presence of military aircraft in the airspace immediately surrounding New Braunfels Regional Airport"
They ended up disconnecting that line after a few years. People would figure out another number with a human respondent and badger them instead until one of our hangars started getting phone calls wanting to be transferred to the tower.
I don't think so. That is propaganda from the other party. Strongest I've seen in years, honestly.
For example, despite the repeated statements by American intelligence agencies that Russian interfered in the 2016 election, Trump said in Helsinki that he believed Putin's denials over his own intelligence apparatus. This is just incomprehensible behavior by a President.
The same could be said for his predecessor. See Israel, Japan, hot mic with Medvedev.
I think we see what we want to see and forgive "our guy" because we believe his intentions.
The constant calls for restraint on Israel's part as Israeli children as young as 6 months were being stabbed to death in their beds by "freedom fighters" lauded by PLO and PA media also comes to mind.
The blind eye towards how PLO officials spoke to their own people (bloodthirsty talk of killing all the jews) vs what they said in English (calls for peace if only Israel was willing to compromise).
But just googling "Obama and Israel" will give you tons more.
Obama's weak stance on NK and china at the expense of Japanese security was seen as failing an ally.
I'm wondering if you could provide concrete examples of Trump sabotage. I'm curious mostly because I'm guessing we're gonna see it very differently.
Not sure what I said that was crazy?
Apart from that, he was generally a source of chaos at the 2018 NATO summit, 1) demanding that NATO allies increase per-GDP spending ahead of schedule or the US would "go it alone" (and hijacking a meeting already in progress to make these demands), 2) accusing Germany of being "totally controlled" by Russia, 3) and giving a parallel-reality final press conference touting that NATO partners had agreed to significant increases in spending (which said partners denied).
There is a difference between being "a source of chaos" and actual sabotage of alliances.
1) Still doesn't seem that unfair of a demand.
2) You gotta admit that he had a point that using Russia as a source for oil kinda undermines independence. We ran into the same thing in the 70's, it sucked.
3) Classic Trump. but not sabotage.
As for the Pres, there again, that's a choice that we made as a society. We elected him after all, and we've continued to defend him no matter what.
In short, these are problems of our own making.
I'm getting a little more than annoyed with the constant insinuation, in the face of challenging, difficult and emotionally painful issues in our society getting thrown into a discussion as something we've factually accepted and tolerated as something that just 'is', as if we've thrown our hands up and said "please keep slaughtering our school children".
Especially in the form of throwaway comments from individuals who aren't actually putting forth a solution themselves.
Please stop waxing post hoc ergo propter hoc like this-just because a solution hasn't made its way through the mechanisms of law and procedural solution making, and please stop projecting YOUR cynicism on the issue on to the rest of us.
That's exactly what we've done. We're not making any solutions, because too many voters and politicians absolutely refuse to. To them, this slaughter is the price they're willing to pay for their "freedom" to have guns.
>Especially in the form of throwaway comments from individuals who aren't actually putting forth a solution themselves.
Solutions have been put forth, countless times over many years. The pro-gun side refuses to accept any of them, because it means they can't have all the guns they want. It's really quite simple. We're dealing with extremists, except that these extremists have the vote of about 1/2 the population.
Americans are pretty chill, dude.
A state-level actor could make the next election day in the US pretty spectacular.