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'Weak passwords' blamed for the fake zombie EAS message that went out Monday

Fake zombie emergency alert system message blamed on weak passwords

By: Trace Hagan from Feb 15, 2013 @ 15:03 CST

Proving that everyone is susceptible to weak passwords, the hoax zombie alert that went out across multiple stations' emergency alert system is being blamed upon the stations not changing the default password to the system. This allowed the still-unnamed prankster to hack into the system and send out the fake alert.


Most people weren't too concerned with the fake alert. In fact, it seems that the stations are more concerned with the fact that the system was able to be compromised. According to Cynthia Thompson, station manager for Michigan's ABC 10 affiliate, "the nature of the message Monday night was not necessarily dangerous, but the fact that the system was vulnerable to outside intrusion IS a danger."

If the prankster had wanted to cause more panic, a fake terrorist attack message or natural disaster message would have likely proved more effective. This is where the real concern comes into play as someone wanting to cause real issues could display a message such as that. Reportedly two products from one of the main EAS vendors is susceptible to compromise even after the default password has been changed.


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