12 Feb 2013
A highly popular television show on KRTV in the city of Great Falls, Montana was disrupted by disturbing news about dead people crawling from their graves.
The message was not a clever commercial for a zombie-based game or movie, but the result of pranksters breaking into the Emergency Alert System and playing a bogus message to the masses.
The message stated that “civil authorities in your area have reported that the bodies of the dead are rising from their graves and attacking the living. Follow the messages onscreen that will be updated as information becomes available. Do not attempt to approach or apprehend these bodies as they are considered extremely dangerous.”
The station confirmed the incident and said they were in the middle of an investigation to determine who was behind the prank.
Apart from the faint-hearted, few watchers bought the warning on the zombie apocalypse, but the situation could have spread much more panic if attackers would have used a different ruse, such as a snow alert or a terrorist attack.
Yesterday’s hack is yet another strong reminder about the necessity of properly securing access to emergency announcement systems.