NATIONAL EMERGENCY ALERTS POTENTIALLY VULNERABLE TO SPOOFING | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

NATIONAL EMERGENCY ALERTS POTENTIALLY VULNERABLE TO SPOOFING

SOURCE: HOMELANDSECURITYNEWSWIRE.COM
On 3 October 2018, cell phones across the United States received a text message labeled “Presidential Alert.” It was the first trial run for a new national alert system, developed by several U.S. government agencies as a way to warn as many people across the United States as possible if a disaster was imminent. Now, a new study raises a red flag around these alerts—namely, that such emergency alerts authorized by the President of the United States can, theoretically, be spoofed.

On 3 October 2018, cell phones across the United States received a text message labeled “Presidential Alert.” The message read: “THISIS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”

It was the first trial run for a new national alert system, developed by several U.S. government agencies as a way to warn as many people across the United States as possible if a disaster was imminent.

Now, a new study by researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder raises a red flag around these alerts—namely, that such emergency alerts authorized by the President of the United States can, theoretically, be spoofed.

Colorado says that the team, including faculty from CU Engineering’s Department of Computer Science (CS), Department of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering (ECEE) and the Technology, Cybersecurity and Policy (TCP) program discovered a back door through which hackers might mimic those alerts, blasting fake messages to people in a confined area, such as a sports arena or a dense city block.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is nasty, and has to get fixed immediately. But the question remains; if this was so capable of getting spoofed, why didn't the developers of this program not see that and fix it earlier?!?

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