Suspected foreign-based cyberattackers hit the Tuscaloosa Police Department earlier in the week, disrupting phone lines at the Alabama station for a short time. The distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack took place 5:30 p.m. local time on Tuesday, with the phone system slammed by irrelevant phone calls.
Cyberattacks are not uncommon, but are highly disruptive when they hit police and emergency responders. The TPD is working with federal authorities and will no longer allow blocked numbers or international phone numbers to dial non-911 administration lines. The changes will have no impact on 911 emergency lines reaching the call center, officials noted.
Another local business received up to 184 phone calls in a short time before unplugging the phone - with the caller reportedly saying they were trying to collect a debt.