By: - April 7, 2017 12:00 am

A 911 dispatch center in Vail, Colorado. Colorado and many other states lack the funding to implement next-generation 911 technologies that can combat pranks and other problems that cause mobile phones to repeatedly call and jam emergency lines.

© The Associated Press

Apple said this week it has patched faulty phone software that created havoc last fall when a Twitter link caused iPhones to repeatedly call 911, overwhelming the emergency-response system in cities around the country.

The attack underscored the need for new 911 systems that can spot bogus calls before they shut down systems and endanger lives.

The fix was included in this week’s 10.3 version of the IOS operating system for iPhones, a company spokesman said. Third-party software, like that used by Twitter to follow links, will no longer be able to make phone calls without users clicking a button to confirm their intent.

In October, a malicious Twitter post with a link targeting the faulty phone software caused people’s cellphones to repeatedly call 911 in what investigators now think was the largest cyberattack on the country’s emergency-response system, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Tim Henderson
Tim Henderson

Tim Henderson covers demographics for Stateline. He has been a reporter at the Miami Herald, the Cincinnati Enquirer and the Journal News.