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EAS

FCC Tells Stations to Secure EAS Equipment After Fake Zombie Alerts

The FCC is telling stations to “take immediate action” to secure their Emergency Alert System equipment after hackers took control of the system at several stations to broadcast warnings of an imminent zombie attack. FTV Live has the full memo from the FCC:

Urgent Advisory: Immediate actions to be taken regarding CAP EAS device security.

All EAS Participants are required to take immediate action to secure their CAP EAS equipment, including resetting passwords, and ensuring CAP EAS equipment is secured behind properly configured firewalls and other defensive measures. All CAP EAS equipment manufacturer models are included in this advisory.

All Broadcast and Cable EAS Participants are urged to take the following actions immediately

EAS Participants must change all passwords on their CAP EAS equipment from default factory settings, including administrator and user accounts.

EAS Participants are also urged to ensure that their firewalls and other solutions are properly configured and up-to-date. Read more

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EAS Zombie Alert Hits More Stations. Finger Pointing Over How it Happened Begins

KRTV, the CBS affiliate in Great Falls, MT, wasn’t the only local station to startle viewers with a hijacked Emergency Alert System warning of an imminent Zombie attack.

Viewers of ABC affiliate WBUP-WBKP and PBS affiliate WNMU in Marquette, MI and PBS affiliate KNME-KNDM in Albuquerque, NM, KENW in Portales, N.M. were also warned “Civil authorities in your area have reported that the bodies of the dead are rising from their graves and attacking the living.”

>Correction: TVSpy incorrectly identified KNME-KNDM as the PBS station in New Mexico that was hacked.  It was actually KENW in Portales, N.M.  We apologize for the incorrect information.

But who the hackers are and how they got in is still unknown, with stations blaming the company that makes the EAS equipment and the equipment maker pointing the finger right back at the stations. Read more

FEMA Responds to Criticism of Nationwide EAS Test, Says It’s Taking ‘Shortcomings Seriously’

FEMA has responded to reports of widespread failures during Wednesday’s nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System, saying it takes “these shortcomings seriously” and intends “to work closely with all participants over the next several weeks as we assess the nature of problems with the nationwide test and how best to address them effectively.”

While it went off without a hitch in many places, the first-ever nationwide test of the EAS was marred with criticism this week after viewers from across the country reported problems, including the test occurring for much longer than scheduled or it not appearing at all. Read more

First-Ever Nationwide EAS Test Proves Need for Nationwide EAS Test

The Emergency Alert System was tested nationwide on Wednesday, giving the federal government its first opportunity to assess the system’s reliability. And, yeah, good thing they tested it out.

As the test hit stations across the country at 2:00 p.m. EST, it seemed like the number of markets reporting problems outnumbered the places where the alert went off without a hitch.

Problems occurred in New York, Los Angeles, D.C., Denver, Tampa, Chattanooga, Greensboro, and the entire state of Oregon. Read more

First Nationwide EAS Test Scheduled for 2 p.m. Today

At 2 p.m. EST today, a familiar sound will ring out from TVs across the country.

For the first time ever, the Emergency Alert System will be tested nationwide on all radio and TV channels, including cable and satellite.  The 30-second test will be executed by the FCC, in conjunction with FEMA and the NWS.

“The purpose of the test is to assess the reliability and effectiveness of the EAS as a public alert mechanism,” the FCC stated, saying that they will use “the results of this nationwide test to assess the reliability and effectiveness of the EAS” and “make improvements to the system as appropriate.” Read more