Over-the-air alerts for emergencies are vulnerable to hacking

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The manufacturer says it is urging customers to take action to secure their devices by installing the software update and ensuring that the devices are shielded from the Internet behind firewalls.

“Broadcasters should check in periodically with the manufacturer to see if there have been any additional software updates,” said Ed Czarnecki of Monroe Electronics/Digital Alert Systems in Lyndonville, NY.

Of the “thousands of units” that had been installed, “fewer than 2.8 percent of our customer base have not yet taken action” to remediate the vulnerability, Mr. Czarnecki said.

He also rejected charges that the company had moved too slowly, saying the firm is “in lockstep” with the federal agencies that manage the system.

“This is a national security system, you don’t just act unilaterally,” he said.

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

About the Author
Shaun Waterman

Shaun Waterman

Shaun Waterman is an award-winning reporter for The Washington Times, covering foreign affairs, defense and cybersecurity. He was a senior editor and correspondent for United Press International for nearly a decade, and has covered the Department of Homeland Security since 2003. His reporting on the Sept. 11 Commission and the tortuous process by which some of its recommendations finally became ...

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