FCC Issues Urgent EAS Advisory
Participants asked to change passwords
February 13, 2013
Communications Commission is requiring all broadcast and cable operations to
secure their Emergency Alert System equipment. The commission issued an urgent
advisory yesterday after EAS systems were hacked at several stations and fake
alerts about zombie invasions were transmitted. The EAS system was transitioned
in recent years to an Internet Protocol format and a Common Alerting Protocol
that makes it available to all manner of public-safety authorities, but also vulnerable
The FCC urged participants “to take immediate action to secure their CAP EAS
equipment, including resetting passwords, and ensuring CAP EAS equipment is
secured behind properly configured firewalls and other defensive measures. All
CAP EAS equipment manufacturer models are included in this advisory.”
The advisory directs “all broadcast
and cable EAS participants… to take the following actions immediately:
1. EAS participants must change all passwords on their CAP EAS equipment from
default factory settings, including administrator and user accounts.
2. EAS participants are also urged to ensure that their firewalls and other
solutions are properly configured and up-to-date.
3. EAS Participants are further advised
to examine their CAP EAS equipment to ensure that no unauthorized alerts or
messages have been set (queued) for future transmission.
4. If you are unable to reset the
default passwords on your equipment, you may consider disconnecting your
device’s Ethernet connection until those settings have been updated.
5. EAS Participants that have questions
about securing their equipment should consult their equipment manufacturer. The advisory is avalable at
/portals/0/FCC Urgent EAS Advisory.pdf