Hackers Broadcast Zombie Emergency Alert on TV
The bogus alert cautioned Montana TV viewers to “not attempt to approach or apprehend these bodies, as they are considered extremely dangerous.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and some emergency managers have embraced the zombie theme to promote individual and family preparedness, but the line was crossed in Montana when hackers broadcast an emergency alert about the living dead on TV.
“Civil authorities in your area have reported that the bodies of the dead are rising from their graves and attacking the living,” said a voice during the fake emergency alert. “Follow the messages on screen that will be updated as information becomes available. Do not attempt to approach or apprehend these bodies, as they are considered extremely dangerous.”
An investigation is under way by KRTC in Montana to determine how its Emergency Alert System was hacked and if it affected other media outlets.
KRTV issued the following statement about the bogus emergency alert: “Someone apparently hacked into the Emergency Alert System and announced on KRTV and the CW that there was an emergency in several Montana counties. This message did not originate from KRTV, and there is no emergency.”
Not everyone immediately knew the emergency alert was a hoax. The Great Falls Tribune reported that at least four people called the police to determine if the alert was real.
In other alerting news, the Beverly, Mass., Public Works Department included an expletive in a recorded message informing residents about a parking ban in effect for snow removal purposes. “The representative got a bit tongue-tied towards the end, and in frustration, dropped the F-bomb,” reported Emergency Management blogger Lorin Bristow. Read Bristow’s post for public alert best practices that will keep you out of trouble and out of the spotlight.
Download: Public Safety Solutions for a Safer Planet
Download: 21st Century Emergency Management Whitepaper
Infographic: 21st Century Emergency Management by the Numbers
Video: Providing Critical Information to Law Enforcement Officers When They Need it Most
Video: The Department of Science & Technology & IBM Collaborate to Build an Intelligent Operations Center