911 services down in multiple US states

Emergency services across at least 13 US states have reported outages of their 911 lines on Monday.

Issues were reported by police departments in counties across Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Washington.

Impacted counties reported losing connectivity for 911 phone and SMS services, but did not provide any technical details about the source of the outage.

“ATTENTION: The 911 lines are not operational nationwide. This is for phone calls and text messaging,” the Minneapolis police department wrote on Twitter earlier today at the start of the outage.

The outage impacted all emergency services simultaneously, and 911 services were restored within 30 and 60 minutes for most affected counties.

A clue of the source of the outage comes from the city of Redmond, Washington, home of tech giant Microsoft, which also reported a similar phone line outage and blamed the incident on “a larger Microsoft 365 outage.”

On Monday, Microsoft reported a massive outage after a recent infrastructure change took down services like Office.com, Outlook.com, Teams, Power Platform, and Dynamics365. The company fixed the issue earlier today by rolling back the problematic change.

More specifically, the issues appears to be related to a PSAPs (Public Safety Answering Points) hosted on Azure infrastructure. PSAPs are systems where 911 (or 112) emergency calls are terminated before reaching the actual emergency service call centers.

News of the 911 outage comes on the same day that a ransomware attack took down multiple Universal Health Services (UHS) hospitals across the US.

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