FCC issues urgent call to broadcasters in wake of EAS breach

By Dru Sefton

The FCC is urging all broadcast stations to make immediate changes to prevent unauthorized users to take over the Emergency Alert System, writes telecom attorney Scott Flick of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman.

“The haste with which these instructions have been generated is demonstrated by the fact that they are not even on FCC letterhead, nor formatted for such a release,” Flick writes. “It is also worth noting that they are not described as ‘recommendations’ or ‘guidelines,’ but as actions EAS Participants ‘must’ or ‘are required’ to take.”

What’s all the fuss about? A hacker accessed the EAS system Monday and informed viewers at several stations — including pubcasters WNMU-TV, in Marquette, Mich., and KENW in Portales, N.M.  — that zombies were rising from the ground to attack.

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