EAS 'Zombie Alerts' Demonstrate System's Vulnerability
February 13, 2013 at 3:57 AM (PT)
Three cases of "zombie attacks" aired as Emergency Alert System alerts have raised questions of the security of the system and are serving as a reminder for stations to change their EAS passwords.
In the first instance on MONDAY, CBS affiliate KRTV (TV)/GREAT FALLS, MT and its CW affiliate digital multicast channel aired an alert sent as a prank warning of bodies "rising from the grave" and attacking the populace.
Later, ABC affiliate WBUP-TV, CW affiliate WBKP-TV, and PBS affiliate WNMU-TV/MARQUETTE, MI aired the same alert, and in LACROSSE, WI, MIDWEST FAMILY BROADCASTING, the morning show at Top 40 WIZM-F (Z93) played a tape of the GREAT FALLS incident, the tones on which accidentally triggered the alert and airing of the zombie warning at CBS affiliate WKBT-TV.
Stations are being urged to make sure the passwords for their EAS devices are updated and not using the default administrative passwords.