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Zombie Hoax Hacks TV Emergency Broadcast System

Feb 13, 2013
News

On Monday February 11, during Steve Wilkos talk show about “Teen cheaters take lie detectors”, hackers broke into KRTV’s emergency broadcast system alerting viewers that “dead bodies are rising from their graves and attacking the living. Follow the messages on screen, that will be updated as information becomes available.” Just another example of recent media security breaches, such as The Wall Street Journal and Times recently encountered.

 

Montana TV station is apologizing to their viewers releasing a statement saying that “The message did not originate from KRTV, and there is no emergency.”  They assured us that their engineers were working on determining the cause of the zombie infested hoax and possibly how it may have affected other media outlets.

 

The blue emergency ticker across the top of the screen also warned the public to, “..not approach or attempt to apprehend these bodies as they are considered extremely dangerous.”

 

The hoax generated a lot of attention, which lead to 4 phone calls to the local police station to see if it was actually true.

 

According to the Great Falls Tribute, the hoax aired on 10 stations in Montana, Michigan, California, Utah and New Mexico, Greg MacDonald.  The CEO of Montana Broadcasters Association confirmed that the FBI and the FCC were investigating and initial findings show it may originated somewhere overseas.

 

It’s a serious issue. Initially people laughed about zombies, but then you start digging and find that it’s not that funny,” the CEO of Montana Broadcasters said.

 

People of the US rely on the Emergency Broadcast System as a national public warning system and trust its’ legitimacy. The President uses the system to address the American public during a national emergency, and by the State and local authorities to deliver important emergency information, such as AMBER alerts and weather information to specific areas.

 

Rachel Gilliland

Toronto Professional Services Team

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