Cybersecurity incident impacting Bucks County’s emergency communication system

Dispatchers are reportedly using pen and paper to take information from callers.

(courtesy of 6abc)

(courtesy of 6abc)

This story originally appeared on 6abc

The Bucks County Department of Emergency Communications is investigating a cybersecurity incident that’s reportedly affecting the dispatch system.

However, officials stress that they are still able to receive 911 calls and dispatch first responders immediately.

But right now, the county’s computer-aided dispatch system, known as CAD, is down

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In a letter to police, fire and EMS chiefs, the county said all phone and radio systems remain operational.

Dispatchers are reportedly using pen and paper to take information from callers.

Action News spoke to a cybersecurity expert, who said most organizations have policies and procedures around responding to incidents like this.

He says the biggest potential risk that the county could be looking at right now is the exposure of any data.

“I’m sure being a 911 system that would record personal information for people who call into the system, it probably records information related to law enforcement agencies and how they respond. All of that would be considered sensitive and private. They’re going to try to determine if any of that data has been exposed as part of this incident,” said Justin Drabouski, the director of Security, Fraser Advanced Information Systems.

This comes after the emergency operation center in Bucks County was just renovated last year. Part of the renovations included updated technology and security upgrades.

County IT is assessing the issue and investigating. State and federal partner agencies are also assisting in the response and investigation.

The system has been offline since Sunday afternoon. There is no word yet on how long the restoration will take.

An investigation is underway into the hacking.

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