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Was it a hack or “software update”? German emergency system was down for 70 minutes on Thursday across Germany! NO 110 and 112

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Emergency calls failed in several German federal states on Thursday the 10th for a few hours. The cause is still unknown

The emergency numbers 110 and 112 in several federal states have failed. Both the police and the emergency services are affected. In Cologne there was also a widespread failure of electricity and drinking water at times.

emergency 110 and 112

What are the emergency numbers 110 and 112 in Germany?

110 or 112: When do I dial which emergency number?

  • Alert the police with an emergency call to 110.
  • In the case of a crime, it is best to choose 110.
  • The emergency call to 112 establishes a connection to the rescue services and the fire brigade.
  • Dial 112 in the event of a fire or an accident.

When do you dial 110 in Germany?

If you find yourself in an emergency situation in connection with a criminal offense or a dangerous situation, if you witness such a situation or if you have a suspicion and police help is necessary to deal with the situation, you should always call the emergency number 110.

When do you call 112 in Germany?

Whenever there is an acute emergency situation in which help must be provided immediately , you should dial 112 – the number of the rescue service and the fire brigade.

This number then has priority over the call of the police, because the emergency services will notify them directly after the emergency call. Even if the situation is unclear and the degree of injury is not apparent, you should always call the emergency services.


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Was this the work of a hacker?

In several federal states, the emergency numbers 110 and 112 for the police and fire brigade failed on Thursday morning.

There were warning messages from Berlin, Cologne, Dresden and Leipzig, Brandenburg, Baden-Württemberg, Hamburg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt, among others. The cause was initially unknown.

In Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the all-clear has now been given: the emergency call is working again there. In Baden-Württemberg, the 110 and 112 are only inaccessible in a few districts (Ostalbkreis, Lörrach, Ravensburg, Bodenseekreis, Rems-Murr-Kreis and Schwäbisch Hall).

emergency  110 and 112

The scope of the disruption

▶ The police in Berlin announced that citizens in need should contact the local police section or call the citizen hotline on 030 46644664. A solution is being worked on at full speed. Further details were not known at first.

▶ From the situation center of the state government of Saxony-Anhalt, it was said that the police and rescue services could not be reached via the mobile or landline network. Work is being carried out on troubleshooting. In an emergency, the police and fire brigade can be reached at their locations.

In Cologne there was a widespread failure of electricity, telephone network and drinking water. The malfunction will be resolved as soon as possible. The power consumption should be reduced to the bare minimum using rechargeable batteries and batteries.

▶ In North Rhine-Westphalia, the emergency number 112 in the Steinfurt district was canceled. In Hesse, the district and the city of Kassel were affected, where the emergency number 112 for fire and rescue services could not be reached due to a technical malfunction.

emergency 110 and 112

Has it everything been fixed?

In all of Lower Saxony, in addition to the emergency numbers, the trunk lines of the police and hospitals were affected by the failure.

Numerous districts in the northernmost state of Schleswig-Holstein were also affected.

In the morning, however, the first all-clear came: In Leipzig, the districts of Kiel, Rendsburg-Eckernförde and Plön in Schleswig-Holstein, the emergency numbers 110 and 112 could be reached by phone shortly after 6 a.m.

UPDATE: Telekom says it was a “software update”

According to Telekom, the reason was the “introduction of new software”. Accordingly, the dangerous malfunction occurred from 4.30 a.m. during routine maintenance work. The police in Frankfurt were then alerted to accept emergency calls directly. The Federal Ministry of the Interior and Telekom ruled out a hacker attack.

Reaction from the federal states

North Rhine-Westphalia Interior Minister Herbert Reul (CDU): “Of course we will follow up this problem together with Deutsche Telekom – it won’t work that way!” After all, the police and fire brigade in North Rhine-Westphalia immediately reported “via local and state-wide radios” as well as on the Internet which phone numbers they can be reached.

▶ In Baden-Wuerttemberg, on the other hand, reference was made to the “head office of the rescue control centers on the Internet” – this was of no help to senior citizens in need.

What the police are saying

▶ Jörg Radek, Vice of the Police Union, on BILD: “It simply cannot be that someone is left alone due to a software error or the like.” The flood disaster had already shown that “critical infrastructure” had to be protected much better.

What the politicians are saying

FDP interior expert Stephan Thomae requested an “urgent error analysis” by the Federal Office for Disaster Protection. Such situations should “no longer repeat themselves”.

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