The 999 emergency line received 13,000 calls yesterday from a prank message sent to Blackberry users.
A hacker launched an DDoS-esque attack on Abu Dhabi’s police line on Monday, manipulating Blackberry users to call the 999 emergency service via a prank message.
The attack was carried out between 5pm to 10pm, flooding the Abu Dhabi Police switchboard with 13, 338 calls within the duration, the police confirmed.
The prank message, which was sent to all Blackberry smartphones across the UAE, read:
“A person took a screenshot while he was calling the police, see what happened!”
When a user clicked on the attached link, their device would automatically call the 999 emergency number. After receiving an unusually large number of mistake calls, the police realized what happened and asked radio stations to broadcast a message urging Blackberry users to not click on the link.
“The 999 emergency number is only to be used for emergencies – and cannot be played with,” said Colonel Saeed Obaid Al Naqbi, director of operations at Abu Dhabi Police.
“An investigation is under way to determine the identity of the immoral perpetrator behind this heinous act and they will be held accountable and face punished.”
The police have now asked the local telecom Etisalat to help trace the source of the message.