TV station’s hacked emergency alert system warns of zombie apocalypse

By Stephen C. Webster
Tuesday, February 12, 2013 8:55 EDT
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Zombies via AFP
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Update (below): Other stations affected

A Great Falls, Montana television station’s public emergency alert system was engaged Monday night by a mysterious hacker who aired a message warning of an impending zombie apocalypse.

“Civil authorities in your area have reported that the bodies of the dead are rising from their graves and attacking the living,” a voice announced during a talk show aired on Montana’s KRTV. “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 extremely dangerous.”

The warning apparently caught a few people off guard — namely the station’s engineers, who’ve since launched an investigation.

“Someone apparently hacked into the Emergency Alert System and announced on KRTV and the CW that there was an emergency in several Montana counties,” the station explained Monday night. “This message did not originate from KRTV, and there is no emergency.”

A local police officer told The Great Falls Tribune that four people actually called authorities asking if the warning was true. “And then I thought, ‘Wait. What if?’” he joked. “We can report in the city, there have been no sightings of dead bodies rising from the ground.”

Update: Other stations affected

At least two other television stations in Michigan also received a strange emergency alert message on Monday, according to Upper Michigan’s Source. Both WNMU-TV and WBUP-TV rebroadcast the same warning about zombies, which station engineers said came from a hacker operating overseas.

The hole in the emergency alert systems’ security has reportedly been plugged.

This video was published to YouTube on Monday, Feb. 11, 2013.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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