Emergency Alert System Hacked, Warns of Zombie Attack

Two television stations in Montana and Michigan recently broadcast brief warnings that zombies were on the loose, after a hacker apparently breached the Emergency Alert System (EAS).

“The alert featured a scrolling warning for various Montana counties and a voice-over claimed there were ‘dead bodies rising from the grave and attacking the living’ and urged people to use caution,” writes The Great Falls Tribune’s Kristen Cates. “‘Do not attempt to approach or apprehend these bodies as they are extremely dangerous,’ it went on to say.”

“[Montana’s] KRTV released a statement saying the ‘message did not originate for KRTV, and there is no emergency,'” The H Security reports. “In Michigan, the station manager of Public TV 13 said the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, NMU public safety and Michigan State Police were all aware of the hoax and investigating how it happened.”

“Karole White, the president and CEO of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters said … a breach like this his has never happened before,” UpperMichigansSource.com reports. “Until a year ago, the stations used an old EAS that was not connected to the Internet. It was a telephone based system. ‘The new system is Web connected, that makes it slightly more vulnerable,’ said White.”

“US motorway signs have been hacked to warn of ‘zombies ahead’ and similar incidents before but the epic KRTV hack takes this to another level,” writes The Register’s John Leyden.

Jeff Goldman
Jeff Goldman has been a technology journalist for more than 20 years and an eSecurity Planet contributor since 2009.

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