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New Mexico Telegram » Local News » Portales emergency system warns of zombie attack

Portales emergency system warns of zombie attack

Hackers managed to make official emergency alerts in Portales warn residents of a zombie attack. The message, an obvious hoax, was one of four stations around the country that suffered the hack.

The emergency message warned of “the bodies of the dead… rising from their graves and attacking the living.”

KRQE says the station manager of KENW changed all the passwords to make sure such a hoax did not happen again.

The alert said, “Local authorities in your area have reported the bodies of the dead are rising from their graves and attacking the living. Do not attempt to approach or apprehend these bodies as they are considered extremely dangerous.”

The fake alert hit at least four stations in the US, including KENW, the PBS station in Portales.

NPR says a Michigan station that suffered the same hack traced it to an overseas source.

Similar mischief has happened before — construction signs in Maine were hacked to say “Warning Zombies Ahead!” last year. There have been other previous cases of construction signs being tampered with in the same way.

KRQE helpfully notes:

While this alert was fake, in case there is a zombie attack, remember the only way to kill a zombie is to sever its head.

This is not strictly true — zombies in most popular American culture, including the popular cable drama The Walking Dead, can only be killed if the brain is destroyed.

The Atlantic Wire notes that while this was a joke, it could have been much worse.

If the hack had happened in New York City and involved terrorists instead of zombies, however, the reaction could’ve been different. This actually happened a couple of years ago in the form of a hactivist group breaking into NBC’s Twitter account and reporting an attack at Ground Zero. The world did not end, but it wasn’t very funny either.

Photo by Grmisiti/Flickr

Written by

Matthew Reichbach has blogged about New Mexico politics since 2006. Matthew was a co-founder of New Mexico FBIHOP with his brother and part of the original hirings at the groundbreaking website the New Mexico Independent. Matthew has covered events such as the Democratic National Convention and Netroots Nation. In addition to politics, Matthew is an avid sports fan, especially of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and TV fan.

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3 Responses to "Portales emergency system warns of zombie attack"

  1. Greg Kendall says:

    There is some sort of problem with embedding links to your stories in Facebook. For example take the link to your zombie story. If you drop that into facebook, it shows the link (which doesn’t look good) instead of a short blurb from the story. This started happening about a week ago to your stories. They use to look great in Facebook .. now … not so much! This has even happened a couple times with morning word … so I could not display your morning word logo in Facebook to the left of the story because Facebook was not picking up images but only showing the messy URL. I hope you understand what I am trying to tell you … that Facebook is not handling your URL the way it should.

    1. It should be fixed now. If it continues to happen, let me know.