"Jeff Smith p.p. sbe15" <firstname.lastname@example.org> (jeffsmith _at_ sbe15.com)
Subject: Fwd: IPAWS EAS Feed Notifications (inappropriate EAN)
In-Reply-To: (no subject)
Date: October 24th 2014
This morning, there was an inappropriate playing of the national emergency alert notification tones on a syndicated radio broadcast. There was not a national emergency. Today's broadcast triggered alert notification in states where the alert has been played. Certain alerts, like the one broadcast today, are designed to be automatically picked up and rebroadcast by other radio and TV stations.
FEMA will be working with the FCC and EAS device manufacturers to identify improvements to the message validation schemes for EAS. While changes take some time to implement, there are some things you can do to help prevent inappropriate alerts from being propagated.
1. If possible, configure your EAS device to NOT FORWARD an EAS message with a header that does not match the current date and time, i.e. configure to enforce "strict time"
2. Socialize the implications of including EAS tones in the broadcast (§11.45 "Prohibition of false or deceptive EAS transmissions") among the content providers and program directors
3. Learn how to clear a "locked up" EAS device (confirm procedure with your device manufacturer)
4. Check your EAS device software version and ensure you are up to date with new patches
5. Use strong passwords for any broadcast equipment that is accessible from the web
6. Use firewalls to prevent unauthorized web-access to broadcast equipment
1. Continuously monitor information from FEMA, FCC, and EAS device manufacturers regarding EAS security
Mark A. Lucero
Chief, IPAWS Engineering
FEMA National Continuity Programs
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