Thanks to a new notification service launched by the United States government in 2018, the President now has the power to issue alerts to every citizen with a working cell phone. The technology for this service, known as the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) system, has been around for a number of years and has been implemented for events like Amber Alerts, where a child has been declared missing or kidnapped.
To date, the new presidential alert system has only been used for an initial test. The expectation is that it will only be used during national emergencies or to warn of an impending crisis similar to how emergency broadcast alerts are distributed to all televisions and radios.
But like with any computer-based system, the threat of hacking is always present. Attackers are likely already plotting ways to infiltrate the new addition to the WEA system and use it to their advantage. Read on to learn more of what’s at stake and how critical it is to prevent such hacks.
Previous Hacking Incidents
Although the concept of a presidential alert system is new at the national level, individual states, counties and cities in America have set up similar notification services in the past. For the most part, these have been successful implementations, but there have been a few instances of cyberattacks that should provide warning to the national government.
For example, residents of Montana received a spooky alert on their cellphones back in 2013 claiming that a zombie apocalypse was about to hit the state. After a thorough investigation, authorities found that a local television station’s IT systems had been hacked and had failed to detect the rogue outgoing message.
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from The State of Security authored by Tripwire Guest Authors. Read the original post at: https://www.tripwire.com/state-of-security/government/vulnerable-presidential-alert-system/