Last week's hack of Baltimore's 911 call system was hardly the only such recent attack in the United States, NBC News reported.
There have been 42 that targeted 911 centers across the country in the last two years, according to data compiled by cybersecurity firm SecuLore Solutions. Most were ransomware attacks, where hackers deploy a virus to hold a computer system hostage for payment, or "denial of service" attacks in which a mass of automated bogus calls overwhelms the system.
"911 is the perfect [target] because it can't afford to be down," SecuLore President and CEO Tim Lorello said.
Henry County, Tennessee, was one of the first ransomware attack victims, turning to pencil and paper to track emergency calls for three days in June 2016 rather than pay more than $2,000 in bitcoin to have the system turned back on.