Sunday, February 17, 2013

No Zombies in Montana, but Why Was There an Emergency Alert For Them?

People are still chortling over the Emergency Alert System broadcast on a Montana television station last week warning that zombies had risen from the dead and were menacing the good citizens of Big Sky country.
Zombies like these did not attack the good citizens
of Montana last week, despite an errant warning.
Somebody hacked into television station KRTV in Great Falls and activated the alert system. So viewers heard that familiar emergerncy tone, GRARRNK! GARRNNK!, followed by the mechanical sounding voice describing the emergency and the crawl across the bottom the screen putting the crisis into words.

Apparently, a few stations in Michigan were hacked by what was reportedly some overseas prankster who wanted to alert us if the faux zombie attack.

Zombies? Really? Aren't zombies becoming something of a cliche? Zombie attacks have become as tired a trope as the stereotype of the obnoxious drunk at a party dancing around with a lampshade on his head.

Time for something original, pranksters!

On a more serious note, why was it so easy to hack into the Emergency Alert System? It's meant for true emergencies. Say a tornado is heading straight for your town or a train derailed nearby and is threatening to overwhelm you with toxic fumes. The EAS is supposed to tell you about these things so you can either protect yourself or kiss your sorry ass goodbye.

Here's my paranoia again, but what if somebody with more ill intent than the Zombie jerks hack into the EAS and prompt a legitimate sounding, but fake alert? Maybe just to instill panic, or as a diversion for some other nasty crime?

And what if people stop trusting the EAS, and when there's a legitimate warning, people just shrug and ignore the oncoming danger, because the EAS just says things for fun, right?

I'm sure the Powers That Be are trying to figure out how the hackers got in, but even if they plug that hole, those wily hackers will surely find some other way to exploit the system, or any computerized system for fun or profit.

I guess we all have to fine tune our bullcrap meters so we can tell truth from fiction.

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