The Emergency Alert System was hacked this week by someone who inserted a warning that zombies were attacking the US. Funny, yes, but the vulnerabilities to cyberattack are real.
The Emergency Alert System, intended as a last-ditch measure to enable the president to communicate to Americans in national emergencies, was hacked Monday by someone who inserted messages reporting that the nation was being attacked by zombies.
While the episode is not without humor, the hoax highlights that the EAS system is vulnerable to far more serious cyberattacks, cybersecurity experts say.
An EAS alert began unexpectedly at 8:36 p.m. on Feb 11, interrupting programming on two Michigan television stations with a message scrolling across the bottom of the screen, that read: “dead bodies are rising from their graves.” The alert also said the bodies were “attacking the living.”
In all, three Michigan TV stations were affected by the so-called “zombie” cyberattack, and another in Great Falls, Mont., was reported to have issued similar alerts. But the real problem is that such vulnerabilities could leave the nation open to fake alerts that look far more real than the “zombie” message and could potentially panic the public, broadcasters and other cybersecurity experts say.
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