- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 12, 2013

False alarm. Nothing but a hoax.

Apparently, we need not fear a zombie attack. This time.

But, um, Congress? Think again, carefully, about those meat-ax defense cuts mandatory under sequestration.

Hackers briefly broke into the Emergency Alert System (EAS) to interrupt local television programming in Montana Monday evening with a fake warning of a zombie uprising. 

The EAS is the national warning system which enables the President to quickly and securely address the public in a national emergency,

Preceded by the familiar — but, happily, not too familiar — warning tone of the EAS, “a voice intoned,” according to Agence France-Presse: 

“Civilian authorities in your area have reported that the bodies of the dead are rising from their graves, and attacking the living.

“Follow the messages on screen, that will be updated as information becomes available. Do not attempt or apprehend these bodies, as they are considered extremely dangerous,” it added.

“This warning applies to all areas receiving this broadcast. This station will now cease transmission, so please use your battery powered radio” to hear updates.

The prank warning interrupted at least four local television stations, according to Cynthia Thompson, station manager at ABC10-CW5.

“It has been determined that a ‘back door’ attack allowed the hacker to access the security of the EAS equipment,” Ms. Thompson explained in an online statement, noting that WNMU-TV 13 at Northern Michigan University was also hacked.

“ABC 10-CW 5 will continue to work with federal and state agencies, including law enforcement and security experts, on the investigation of this incident.”

Heath Heggem, news director at KRTV/KXLH, told AFP: “KRTV along with several other stations across the country was subject to a cyber attack that intruded into our EAS system. We’re still investigating what happened.”

A Great Falls, Mont., Police Department spokesman said some people had called, but there was no cause for alarm, according to the French wire service.

Well, of course not. We’ve all seen this movie before.

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