I think it is a given in this day and age, where anything that can be hacked, will be hacked, when the right situation comes into play, meaning the right person, right tools, and right motives. It seems that a bunch of models of Emergency Alert System decoders do come with their fair share of vulnerabilities, where hackers with the technical know how are capable of hijacking them, sending out fake messages to the public along the way.
This bit of news was revealed by a security firm earlier this week, where one of the vulnerabilities include a private root SSH key which was distributed in publicly available firmware images. It is said that this private root SSH key would provide the attacker with SSH access to a device in order to log in with root privileges, hence allowing one to issue fake alerts or disable the system completely. In one instance earlier this year, hackers have exploited default credentials in order to break into the Emergency Alert System at local TV station KRTV in Montana, interrupting programming with an alert that is on many of our minds – a zombie apocalypse, stating, “Civil authorities in your area have reported that the bodies of the dead are rising from their graves and attacking the living,” the announcer said. “Follow the messages on-screen that will be updated as information becomes available. Do not attempt to approach or apprehend these bodies, as they are extremely dangerous.”