QRZ Logbook

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

So this qualifies as a "Civil Defense Message"...

Some people watching KRTV in Great Falls, Montana got a startling message on their TV screens last Monday, as an Emergency Alert System, or EAS alert came on their TV screens and then a deep-sounding voiceover cautioned that "Civil authorities in your area have reported that the bodies of the dead are rising from their graves."

The message advised listeners to tune in to "920AM" and that the TV station they were watching was going to go off the air (after advising viewers to "follow the on-screen instructions").

The KRTV video is below:


KRTV also reports that several stations across the country were also hacked and similar messages were broadcast.

This one was at a TV station in Michigan (garbled audio):


WNMU-TV in Northern Michigan was also affected, and kids watching Barney got a surprise message as well. No video yet that I can find.

At first I thought the National Weather Service's system was hacked and that these messages were broadcast over NOAA weather radio, however it appears that hackers outside the US were able to get into the sites of the stations themselves and then use "default passwords" to get into the EAS equipment and send out the alerts of the undead.

While the whole incident is, at least to some, hilarious, the FCC, however is not showing their sense of humor about the whole brouhaha, even issuing an advisory (.pdf) to all TV stations using the EAS equipment that was the center of the hack to change their passwords immediately.

As more reports of the undead alerts surface, I'll try to post them, and the videos if they arise from the grave.