Steve Dibert, MFI-Miami
Viewers of three Marquette, Michigan TV stations were alerted to a zombie attack Monday including children watching “Barney and Friends.” Authorities are investigating reports of hackers gaining access to PBS affiliate WNMU’s emergency alert system. WNMU coordinates emergency broadcasts with the local ABC and CW affiliates.
WNMU’s general manager Eric Smith said “Barney and Friends” was airing at 3:45 p.m. Monday when a scrolling weather alert appeared along with an audio warning claiming, ”dead bodies are rising from their graves.”
Smith said, “Someone was able to get into the system and they sent out an alert about zombies. It was basically talking about the dead rising to attack the living. As soon as we realized, we took it off line.”
ABC affiliate WBUP’s General Manager, Cynthia Thompson said the hacker struck them at 8:37 pm Monday night, “It has been determined that a ‘back door’ attack allowed the hacker to access the security of the EAS equipment. ABC 10-CW 5 will continue to work with federal and state agencies, including law enforcement and security experts, on the investigation of this incident.”
Smith also claimed law enforcement authorities have traced the hacker’s signal, Smith refused to reveal to where signal was tracked but did say that the signal was not local.
Thompson claimed the hacker was responsible for pulling the same stunt at a Great Falls, Montana television station was found and apprehended.