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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Apparent TV station hacker initiates zombie hoax

Television viewers in Montana and Michigan were interrupted over the past two days when an emergency alert interrupted regularly scheduled programming and said: “dead bodies are rising from their graves and are attacking the living.”

Montana’s KRTV was the first news station to report being hacked by the bogus alert that flashed across the screen on Monday afternoon during an episode of the Steve Wilkos show. The KRTV station in Great Falls, Mont. released a statement on their website shortly after the alert aired to inform viewers that the emergency alert, which appeared in the style of an Amber Alert or Severe Weather Alert, was a hoax.
The release said: “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.”

Watch the alert below:

While in Michigan, the same alert appeared during two different television programs, once during an episode of Barney on Public TV 13 and during an episode of the Bachelor on WBUP-TV, a local ABC affiliate, according to

“Tuesday morning, NMU's investigators determined how the hackers got in to the system. That entry has been closed so the problem can't happen again,” according to the report. “The information found today has been turned over to NMU Public Safety, said Eric Smith, WNMU General Manager.”

Check out the alert during the Bachelor that interrupts a passionate date between Bachelor Sean Lowe and one of his many dates.

It is reminiscent of the Orson Welles broadcast of “War of the Worlds” in 1938 that aired on CBS radio that was presented as a series of news bulletins that scared many listeners into believing that an actual alien invasion by Martians was in progress. The Halloween episode that aired on Oct. 30 was an adaptation of the H.G. Wells novel “The War of the Worlds” from 1898.

What was more believable, Orson Welles radio drama, or the television hacking earlier this week? You be the judge.


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