Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

911 Services Can't Handle Advanced Wireless Devices, Services

The 911 Industry Alliance says there is a problem because most call centers are analog and digital data isn't delivered.

As more advanced wireless devices are put into use, the nation's 40-year-old 911 emergency system is becoming increasingly antiquated and unable to function properly for users of the new devices, according to the 911 Industry Alliance.

Jeff Robertson, executive director of the industry group, said in an interview Wednesday that the issue is reaching crisis proportions. "The problem is that consumer technology has surpassed the 911 technology," he said. "Ninety-five percent of 911 call centers are analog (-based). Emergency data gets stripped out."

Robertson said the issue has caught the attention of two Ohio state representatives, Larry Flowers and Steven Driehaus, who have taken note of the problem and are seeking a solution in legislation they have filed in the Ohio House of Representatives. In addition to the challenge presented by incompatible connections between newer wireless devices and older analog 911 centers, the effort to fix the problem with improved 911 products and services has been slowed because wireline 911 funding is decreasing.

Robertson noted that it's difficult and often impossible to send text from cell phones and make it understandable at 911 centers. The problem surfaced in painful reality in the recent tragic Virginia Tech shootings.

"Many students expected that they could text message the 911 dispatch center with vital information, only to find out that the 911 network does not support text messaging, photos, or multimedia messages," Robertson said quoting from a new 911 Alliance report.

Robertson added that the situation is likely to get worse as cell phone and VoIP usage grows. "The biggest problem (with a VoIP call) is trying to figure out where the call is coming from," said Robertson, who added that the tragedy of the situation is that the technology to fix it is there, but the funding isn't.

The 911 Industry Alliance views the Ohio legislation as a model for other states to follow to fix the 911 problem.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
7 Tips for Infosec Pros Considering A Lateral Career Move
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/21/2020
For Mismanaged SOCs, The Price Is Not Right
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/22/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
IT 2020: A Look Ahead
Are you ready for the critical changes that will occur in 2020? We've compiled editor insights from the best of our network (Dark Reading, Data Center Knowledge, InformationWeek, ITPro Today and Network Computing) to deliver to you a look at the trends, technologies, and threats that are emerging in the coming year. Download it today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
Organizations have invested in a sweeping array of security technologies to address challenges associated with the growing number of cybersecurity attacks. However, the complexity involved in managing these technologies is emerging as a major problem. Read this report to find out what your peers biggest security challenges are and the technologies they are using to address them.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2015-3154
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-27
CRLF injection vulnerability in Zend\Mail (Zend_Mail) in Zend Framework before 1.12.12, 2.x before 2.3.8, and 2.4.x before 2.4.1 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary HTTP headers and conduct HTTP response splitting attacks via CRLF sequences in the header of an email.
CVE-2019-17190
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-27
A Local Privilege Escalation issue was discovered in Avast Secure Browser 76.0.1659.101. The vulnerability is due to an insecure ACL set by the AvastBrowserUpdate.exe (which is running as NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM) when AvastSecureBrowser.exe checks for new updates. When the update check is triggered, the...
CVE-2014-8161
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-27
PostgreSQL before 9.0.19, 9.1.x before 9.1.15, 9.2.x before 9.2.10, 9.3.x before 9.3.6, and 9.4.x before 9.4.1 allows remote authenticated users to obtain sensitive column values by triggering constraint violation and then reading the error message.
CVE-2014-9481
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-27
The Scribunto extension for MediaWiki allows remote attackers to obtain the rollback token and possibly other sensitive information via a crafted module, related to unstripping special page HTML.
CVE-2015-0241
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-27
The to_char function in PostgreSQL before 9.0.19, 9.1.x before 9.1.15, 9.2.x before 9.2.10, 9.3.x before 9.3.6, and 9.4.x before 9.4.1 allows remote authenticated users to cause a denial of service (crash) or possibly execute arbitrary code via a (1) large number of digits when processing a numeric ...