One evening, you find yourself watching the local CW affiliate for some reason when suddenly, the official warning sirens of the Emergency Alert System interrupt the broadcast. A solemn voice speaks the words you've been waiting your whole life to hear: "The bodies of the dead are rising from their graves and attacking the living."
This is exactly what happened to residents of Great Falls, Montana, on Monday night when hackers broke into the Emergency Alert System of local affiliate KRTV and its CW station and sounded the alarm.
The authentic-sounding announcement advised against coming into contact with these "extremely dangerous" bodies and provided a radio station for further updates from civil authorities in case of the interruption of electrical service.
Meanwhile, a warning scrolled across the top of the screen issuing a "local area emergency" for several counties in Montana.
The voice declared that the television station would cease transmission and the official emergency alert signals blared again.
To provide some context, Montana is already an expanse of lawless badlands and ranks third in the United States in gun ownership, with 57.7% of its sparse population owning a firearm. Fortunately, this happened on The CW, so only four people were watching and called police to find out if it was true. God, I'd love to hear those 911 calls.
KRTV posted the following message to put everyone at ease:
"Someone apparently hacked into the Emergency Alert System and announced on KRTV and the CW that there was an emergency in several Montana counties.
This message did not originate from KRTV, and there is no emergency.
Our engineers are investigating to determine what happened and if it affected other media outlets."
Could this be The Walking Dead's new viral marketing campaign? Or is the impending zombie apocalypse being covered up? What REALLY happened?!
The living dead AND the perfect pancake ! What an awesome day !
Level 1 (36%) Since: 17/Apr/12
Message Posted On Feb 13th, 2013, 1:16 pm
"Fortunately, this happened on The CW, so only four people were watching"
Ouch! That's a little harsh! :-)
But I have to agree with others...LOL for the entire situation!
Morning_Star (Data Entry Specialist)
Level 45 (77%) Points: 15966 Mood: Like I have a brand new god Since: 20/Oct/06
Message Posted On Feb 12th, 2013, 11:44 pm
Orson Welles would be proud.
I would have been sceptical from the outset and a brief channel surf and no more than five minutes of Internet browsing would have confirmed that it was bogus (there wouldn't be one site or channel that would ignore something of the magnitude. regardless of how small and localised it was), but... seeing that would have lit that gullible little spark in the back of my head and, even when overpowered by my rational thinking brain, would have caused me to shit my pants a little at just considering the possibility.