911 disruption in Massachusetts was caused by government firewall: State officials

911 disruption in Massachusetts was caused by government firewall: State officials

The 911 system outage in Massachusetts earlier this week was caused by a government firewall meant to prevent cyberattacks, state officials said Wednesday

The officials explained that a preliminary investigation by the Massachusetts State 911 Department and its 911 vendor Comtech found that Tuesday’s disruption was the result of a firewall that is meant to protect the system from cyberattacks and hacking. The statement said the software prevented calls from getting to the 911 dispatch centers.

The reason for the disruption to dispatch centers remains under review, the department said in the statement.

“The Massachusetts State 911 Department is deeply committed to providing reliable, state-of-the-art 911 services to all Massachusetts residents and visitors in an emergency,” State 911 Department Executive Director Frank Pozniak said in a statement. “The Department will take all necessary steps to prevent a future occurrence.”

“We are grateful to everyone for their patience and cooperation during the outage,” Pozniak added.

The system went down Tuesday afternoon starting at about 1:15 p.m. EDT and lasting roughly two hours before being fully restored. Residents were unable to make emergency calls during this period.

Boston officials advised people to contact local police departments if they need help or to pull a local call box if people suffered medical, EMS or fire-related problems.

The department said while “some calls may not have gone through,” dispatch centers were still able to identify the number of calls made and return their phone calls.

Officials added that they were unaware of any emergencies that may have been impacted by the outage.

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