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The United States Emergency Alert Systems (EAS) is as vulnerable to cyber hackers as the power grid itself. The recent Baltimore riots, Ferguson riots and Boston Marathon bombing clearly illustrated how quickly a typical American neighborhood can be turned into a war zone.
The United States Emergency Alert System (EAS) has “critical vulnerabilities” according to a recent review by IOActive, a security firm. The EAS vulnerability report was concerning enough on its own, but since perhaps the least organized federal agency in America controls the system, more red flags are raised. Civil unrest will happen quickly after a terrorism attack, power grid down scenario, or even a natural disaster. A fully-functional and secure emergency alert system would be integral to disaster relief, law enforcement, firefighter, and EMS functions during a terrorism attack or other equally devastating doomsday scenario. Despite the importance of a secure and fully functional Emergency Alert System, it is really not surprising that the warning measures have become severely vulnerable.
Although it would take a very twisted mind, a cyber hacker could quickly impact the movements and actions of Americans during a true disaster by sending out false instructions over the EAS system. The panic and civil unrest which could easily result from a fake emergency alert could cost an untold number of lives. Before local law enforcement could confirm the terror alert was fake and attempt to share such information with citizens, thousands would have clogged the streets attempting to escape the city.
IOActive discovered the critical vulnerabilities in the Emergency Alert System in multiple programs which include the DASDEC-II, DASDEC-I, and other Linux-based DAS computer platforms. All the computer jargon may be difficult for many of us non-techies to grasp, but it surely does not sound good. IOActive advised the administration to correct the EAS vulnerabilties by re-evaluating existing firmware and by pushing all updates to all the system “appliances” to fix the critical vulnerability issue. Cyber warfare was ranked above an economic collapse or banking crisis in an insurance industry survey. More than 30,000 surveys were completed for the Towers Watson report.  Many preppers consider their self-reliance and off grid living purchases and training a part of an overall insurance plan, just like paying monthly premiums to protect homes from fires, floods, and to cover the costs of health emergencies, and car accidents.


Do you think a failed or hacked Emergency Alert System could make a disaster scenario worse and allow terrorists to manipulate the situation? The San Mateo County Office of Emergency Services is improving its emergency notification system to include new features like map-based technology and ways to send individualized texts to smaller neighborhoods.
He cites the wildfires and a recent unexpected construction accident in Burlingame that shut down highway 101 for 24 hours as good reasons for the upgrade to the system. The PageLink system offers a cost effective solution to applications ranging from a simple stand-alone system, to a fully networked system with multi-user configurations. A security review of the EAS revealed that terrorists could hack into the system and send false orders to first responders during and emergency and send inaccurate information to Americans who have suddenly found themselves in the middle of a disaster zone. Maneuvering home safely during a period of civil unrest would be a dangerous enough endeavor without those who caused the chaos garnering control of the radio waves and internet to further their violent goals. The ability of the federal government to warn citizens about man-made and natural disasters is key to the survival of the populace.
Radio and television stations around the nation received the information from an official government source, and then the details were shared with the general public. The panic and scramble for food and water in metropolitan areas will likely turn violent quickly. One just has to look at the state of the power grid to grasp the lack of attention the federal government has paid to life-saving infrastructure. A coordinated effort by terrorists to first enact a man-made disaster and then send out a fake alert which actually sends citizens running and first responders towards danger, would achieve a higher death toll. After pressure cooker bombs go off, emergency responders and heroic citizens rush in to help, while a massive crowd attempts to quickly exit the area. Image the reaction in a major metropolitan area if an Emergency Alert System warning stated a terror attack with a dirty bomb had occurred. Hospitals, schools, and assisted living centers would likely enact emergency protocols within seconds of an emergency alert, creating further chaos and the unnecessary movement of severely ill individuals.
A Mashable report stated that when a firmware update occurred recently a Private Secure Shell (SSH) that allows remote access to a server in order to garner root access. The bottom line of the issue surrounds the ability for hackers to manipulate alert system functions remotely.
The IOActive Emergency Alert System report was issued just after a successful hacking attempt at the KRTV News station in Montana.
Most of the man-made and natural disasters those who issue the policies worry about, are the same topics on the minds of the more than three million preppers in the United States.
The newly remodeled SMC alert launched this month coincides with National Preparedness month and according to the Undersheriff, Carlos G.


The IOActive Emergency Alert System report stated what would likely unfold if cyber hackers could broke into the system and broadcast fake warning messages to American citizens. The current EAS system is designed to function in the same manner, with the addition of direct presidential sharing ability. To date, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has yet to respond to media requests for comments about the ability of cyber hackers to issue fake alerts over television and radio waves. If the man-made or natural disaster was larger than a regional incident, tractor-trailers would not be able to deliver food to grocery stores or gas to convenience stores.
A fake EAS alert authored by cyber hacking terrorists instructs residents to assemble in a specific area for shelter. According to a ZDnet report, the SSH key allows any person with limited knowledge to gain access to the system at the root server level and manipulate operating functions. According to the Towers Watson survey results, the “extreme risk” most on the minds of the industry involved a worldwide pandemic that would spread a fatal disease around the world and significantly impact crops, people, and animals. Apparently, insurance industry executives and the self-reliance community have a lot in common. Unfortunately, not a single Oval Office holder has attempted to use the modern system since it was put into place nearly 20 years ago.
Before local officials have time to digest the misinformation during the emergency, additional bombs go off in the supposed shelter areas.
The original alert system was designed to share both local and nationwide emergency and disaster information. The fake alert quickly went viral, prompting chuckles from many—but the grins would surely disappear quickly if hackers tried again with a more realistic alert. The carnage which would occur would not only kill innocent people, but police officers, firefighters, and medics attempting to redirect the marauding crowds and correct the misinformation.
The current alert system was created to allow the president to address the entire country as quickly as 10 minutes after an emergency occurs. The EAS is primarily used to share local alerts and information about tornado and hurricane movements.



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