Standard practice among news organizations is to ‘report the news,’ not be a part of it. That changed for ABC 10 – and our sister station C–W 5 – Monday night when the station’s Emergency Alert System was hacked into. But, our stations were not the only target of this attack.
Just before 4 p.m. Monday, NMU Public TV 13 had an unauthorized Emergency Alert message broadcast to its viewers. The message displayed is known by some as the ‘zombie attack.’
The EAS is designed to provide the public with essential information in a clear manner allowing them to react accordingly. If the system is compromised, it could lead to safety issues in the event of a real emergency. The EAS is a national public warning system that requires TV and radio broadcasters, cable system, satellite radio and TV providers to forward communications of a local or national emergency. For example, the EAS is activated by police for an AMBER alert or for weather information targeted to specific areas.
Providing Emergency Alert information is a vital duty of a broadcaster. This incident is being taken very seriously by this station and its’ staff, management and owner. Every effort will be made to work with other agencies to determine the hacker’s manner of access to the EAS equipment and to prevent any further intrusions.