Firewall Glitch Caused Mass 911 Disruption

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MILFORD, Mass. — State officials say a firewall on the 911 emergency system prevented calls from getting through on Tuesday, disrupting the system for a couple hours.
 
The interruptions started at about 1:15 p.m. on Tuesday when the State 911 Department became aware of the situation. The disruption lasted approximately two hours until operation was fully restored at 3:15 p.m.
 
Although some calls may not have gone through, the system allows dispatch centers to identify the phone number of callers and return those calls, according to a statement from the department. The department has not received any reports of emergencies impacted during the interruption.
 
In 2023, the state's 204 Public Safety Answering Points received a total average of 8,800 calls a day.
 
The agency moved to address the technical issue with 911 vendor Comtech while alerting local law enforcement through a statewide broadcast network and connecting with the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency to issue a statewide emergency alert.
 
A preliminary investigation conducted by the State 911 Department and Comtech determined that the outage was the result of a firewall, a safety feature that provides protection against cyberattacks and hacking. The firewall prevented calls from getting to the 911 dispatch centers also known as Public Safety Answer Points (PSAPs). Comtech's initial review of the incident confirmed that the interruption was not the result of a cyberattack or hack; however, the exact reason the firewall stopped calls from reaching dispatch centers remains under review.
 
Comtech advised State 911 that it has applied a technical solution to ensure that this does not happen again. 
 
"The Massachusetts State 911 Department is deeply committed to providing reliable, state-of-the-art 911 services to all Massachusetts residents and visitors in an emergency. The department will take all necessary steps to prevent a future occurrence," said State 911 Executive Director Frank Pozniak. "We are grateful to everyone for their patience and cooperation during the outage."
 
In its press release, the State 911 Department thanked state and local emergency response agencies for their swift response and for working closely with their PSAP to ensure public safety.

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Pittsfield Starbucks Closed Temporarily

By Sabrina DammsiBerkshires Staff

A sign outside the coffee shop assures customers the closure is only temporary. 
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Your alarm goes off, you get ready, and you leave for school, work, or whatever your appointment a little bit early to get a cup of coffee to start your day, only to find that the Pittsfield Starbucks, located at  555 Hubbard Ave., is closed. 
 
The sign has been removed, and the drive-through is blocked, but Starbucks coffee addicts need not worry — this closure is only temporary. 
 
The coffee shop closed its doors temporarily on July 7 to undergo a standard renovation with the chain's new Siren System, a Starbucks spokesperson said. 
 
According to the signage, the reopening date is projected to be Aug. 21. 
 
According to its website, the Siren System is part of the chain's Starbucks Reinvention plan, which aims to improve the experience for partners and staff by responding to changing needs and increasing demands. 
 
"As a standard course of business, we continually evaluate our store portfolio using various criteria to ensure we are meeting the needs of our customers," the spokesperson said. 
 
The chain's article on unveiling its innovations said, "Over the past few years, the number of cold beverages ordered has surpassed the number of hot drinks year-round. And, two in three drinks ordered have requested customizations such as extra espresso shots and flavorings."
 
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