Emergency alert systems have been in place in the U.S. since the 1950s and '60s as a response to the threat of nuclear warfare during the cold war. The system is set up so the Federal Emergency Management Agency can broadcast information for viewers and listeners.
Monday, two stations in the Upper Peninsula were hacked, and an alert message stating that zombies have been rising from the grave to attack the living played during regular broadcast shows. Investigators say Monday's hacks likely came from an outside source.
"People with access here at a station are trained engineers and master control operators, and it looks like this attack came from overseas. Nobody internally sent it," said WLUC Media Operations Manager Jeff Collins. "People look at it as a funny hoax, but actually it's a serious thing as far as I'm concerned. Here at the station, one of our main priorities is safety of the people around the U.P., so this system is there to help people save lives."
The Emergency Alert Systems are regularly updated and upgraded. Our EAS equipment here at TV6 was not affected by Monday night's attack.