LYNDONVILLE, N.Y.—Digital Alert Systems has announced the availability of an important update of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) digital certificates used to authenticate messaging from the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS).
The company has released updated IPAWS Certificate Authority (CA) credentials for the DASDEC and One-Net series of Emergency Alert System/Common Alerting Protocol (EAS/CAP) encoder/decoders to replace a certificate in the current certification chain that will expire on Aug. 21.
All U.S. DASDEC and One-Net users are advised to replace the soon-to-expire certificate to ensure the required message authentication continues to operate properly, the company stressed.
Digital Alert Systems also reminded all EAS participants that the FCC requires them to "configure their systems to reject all CAP-formatted EAS messages that include an invalid digital signature."
"With just a few weeks to go, we urge DASDEC and One-Net customers to update their certificate files before Aug. 21 to prevent any disruptions," said Adam Jones, senior sales engineer for Digital Alert Systems. "While this seems like an annual occurrence, our customers will be pleased to know this new certificate is good until April of 2024!"
Digital certificates, called CAs, are used by FEMA to create a chain of trust between an EAS device and the IPAWS servers. The DASDEC and One-Net EAS/CAP devices use these special digital certificates to validate the authenticity of IPAWS-sourced CAP alerts. These certificates are designed to expire on a specific date and time, requiring the issuing authority to publish new certificates as replacements.
All DASDEC and One-Net customers using the IPAWS system must have the latest certificates in place so only messages authenticated through IPAWS are processed. IPAWS users who do not update their equipment before Aug. 21 could see this error message: "Event Log: Digital Signature VERIFICATION ERROR: Signer UNTRUSTED! Check for correct CAP decoder CA file." Alternatively, the device might simply ignore valid IPAWS alerts.
The new field service bulletin and CA file are now available from the Digital Alert Systems website at www.digitalalertsystems.com/DAS_pages/resources_fsb.html (opens in new tab).
DASDEC and One-Net customers should go to the website, download the field service bulletin for instructions, and link to the new CA file.
Further information about Digital Alert Systems and its products is available at www.digitalalertsystems.com (opens in new tab).
George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.
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