Baltimore emergency responders revert to manual methods for 17 hours during cyberattack

Hackers broke into Baltimore's computer-assisted dispatch system, which supports the city's 911 and other emergency calls, causing city officials to revert to manual processes, according to NBC News.

During the 17 hour outage, which was discovered March 25, the details of incoming calls for emergency services could not be electronically relayed to dispatchers. Call center support staff had to manage the calls manually.

"These critical services were not impacted nor disrupted at any time, as they were temporarily transitioned to manual mode," Frank Johnson, Baltimore's CIO, said in a statement to NBC News.

A spokesperson for the Mayor's office said the 911 dispatch system itself had not been hacked, but declined to comment whether any information was stolen or if other city services had been targeted, although Mr. Johnson told The Hill no personal data of any citizen was compromised. The spokesperson also declined to say whether any suspects had been identified.

"This is an active investigation. Getting into further details could compromise the investigation," the spokesperson wrote, according to NBC News.

Baltimore is the latest  U.S. city to face a cyberattack. Atlanta has been grappling with a ransomware attack since March 22 that locked down a number of the city's services, including its online bill-pay programs.

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