Pocket calling and zombie phones imperil 9-1-1 services

Emergency response lines are under growing threat from a range of unintentional and malicious threats. 

The steady rise in nuisance calls from children playing with hand-me-down smartphones to a malicious prank designed to trick people into using their digital assistants to call emergency services and even from malware turning phones into a horde of constantly dialing zombie phones is putting increase strain on 9-1-1 systems in number of North American jurisdictions. 

In the Greater Toronto Area, York Regional police have reported as many as 1 in 5 emergency services calls are now unintentional or nuisance calls, potentially tying up vital lines from real emergencies. 

In October, malware and Twitter were used to cripple a number 911 systems in 12 different states in the past two years.

And this spring a malicious prank called "108" has been circulating, tricking iPhone users into asking Siri '108', which is India's emergency service and thanks to an Apple setting, is translated into whatever emergency number is used in the jurisdiction your currently in. 

Beauceron CEO David Shipley spoke with Toronto640 AM's The John Oakley show about growing  threats to 911 systems.