Zombies Attack Montana! (US Emergency Alert System Gets Hacked)

Imagine their surprise: a week ago, while Montana residents were innocently engrossed in the show Teen Cheaters Take Lie Detector Tests, they were abruptly interrupted by a broadcast of the Emergency Alert System.  The station was muted as the following voice-over message was recited by a somber-sounding fellow:

Civil authorities in your area have reported that the bodies of the dead are rising from their graves and attacking the living. Follow the messages onscreen that will be updated as information becomes available. Do not attempt to approach or apprehend these bodies as they are considered extremely dangerous.”

Meanwhile, a list of the affected counties scrolled across the screen.  Naturally, this worried a few folks.  Many called their local police.

But it wasn’t a shock to everyone; there are people who knew this sort of thing could happen.   

A month ago a research scientist, Mike Davis, discovered that numerous alert systems across the US have some “really, really terrible software” on them which make them vulnerable to hacking.  He warned that the flaws could allow hackers to take control and broadcast messages of their choosing, and Davis reported this to US CERT (United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team).

I have to wonder – in addition to asking whether US CERT itself has been hacked (coincidental timing, doncha think?) – does our government still believe this antiquated system would serve us best should the need arise, say, to warn citizens of the imminent arrival of a meteor traveling 40,000 miles per hour?  Because I’m thinking it’s a bit outdated.  Maybe someone should suggest they consider alerting us by using an alternate medium that we’re actually connected to most of the time…

Best,

cj

(sources: threatpost and the register )

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One Response to “Zombies Attack Montana! (US Emergency Alert System Gets Hacked)”

  1. Deb Atwood says:

    Seems like we’re always playing catch-up to the bad guys. Love the graphic!

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