Emergency services in at least 14 U.S. states said their 911 lines were down yesterday. Police services reported problems with the 911 lines in the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington.
According to ZDNet, the outage affected all emergency services at the same time, while 911 services were restored within 30 and 60 minutes in most affected areas.
An indication of the source of the outage comes from Redmond, Washington, where the Microsoft, which also reported a similar outage, attributing the incident to a larger outage at Microsoft Office 365.
In particular, Microsoft yesterday reported a massive shutdown, which occurred after a recent infrastructure change that destroyed services such as Office.com, Outlook.com, Teams, Power Platform and Dynamics365. The company fixed the issue today. However, the Microsoft shutdown only affected Office and related services e-mail.
Other sources make it clear that the shutdown of 911 may not be related to the shutdown of Microsoft Office 365 and was most likely caused by a PSAP (Public Security Call Center) provider.
PSAPs are telephony systems where 911 (or 112) emergency calls are terminated before they reach the actual emergency call centers. According to Twitter reports, a PSAP provider named Intrado is probably behind the 911 shutdown that occurred yesterday.
The news of the 911 shutdown came to light the same day that a big one ransomware attack affected several Universal Health Services (UHS) hospitals in the US. Many link the two incidents. However, there is currently no evidence to support this theory.