Attack indicators for NG-911 networks
What is in this article?
The financial district’s Diamond Exchange is a well-known retailer of high-quality diamonds. Over the years, it has become the Mecca for those seeking wedding bliss, with its millions of dollars’ worth of diamonds from which to choose. However, diamonds not only attract the honest hard-working individuals willing to spend two months’ worth of hard-earned salary, but also those with criminal intentions looking for a big pay-off.
The Diamond Exchange had experienced several small burglaries over the years, so when its owners were offered NG-911 services through their alarm company they jumped at the opportunity. The new technology promised to connect the company directly to emergency services such as police and fire. One of the options selected by the Diamond Exchange was audio and visual integration, which allowed the NG-911 operator to hear and see what was happening in the store when an alarm was triggered.
Just a few months earlier, the mayor of the city in which the jewelry store is located had praised the local Sheriff’s Office for being one of the first agencies in the country to fully implement NG-911 services, a project that was made possible by a federal grant. During a press conference, the mayor described what implementing NG-911 services required and the benefits these services would bring, chief among them being instant interagency cooperation and information sharing.
Because NG-911 was considered a pioneering technology, the Sheriff’s Office insisted it needed weekly tests of the services. So for several weeks after the technology was installed, Diamond Exchange personnel would press their panic button or trigger the register alarm. Either action would automatically initiate an emergency call for service, and enable the 911 call-taker to access the store’s cameras and microphones from the console. The call-takers were trained to listen for key words that would indicate a test or actual burglary or robbery. When the testing period had concluded, the Sheriff’s Office was satisfied that the technology worked as advertised. In light of this, the owners of the Diamond Exchange never could have imagined being robbed—in broad daylight, during business hours—and that the police wouldn’t respond.