The regular programming of a local Montana station was interrupted Monday afternoon when viewers were warned of a zombie attack.
A hacker had infiltrated a local TV network and took over the emergency broadcast system to send out a bogus warning that “bodies of the dead are rising from their graves."
The unknown hacker wormed into KRTV, a CBS affiliate and corresponding CW station, that serves much of North Central Montana, during an episode of the Steve Wilkos Show "Teen Cheaters Take Lie Detectors."
As the warning scrolled across the bottom of the screen, giving the names of various Montana counties that should be on the lookout for the coming "zombie apocalypse," a disembodied man's voice made the following announcement:
"Civil authorities in your area have reported that the bodies of the dead are rising from their graves and attacking the living. Follow the messages onscreen that will be updated as information become available. Do not attempt to approach or apprehend these bodies as they are considered extremely dangerous."
The TV station responded immediately by posting a statement to its website
"Someone apparently hacked into the Emergency Alert System and announced on KRTV and the CW that there was an emergency in several Montana counties. This message did not originate from KRTV, and there is no emergency. Our engineers are investigating to determine what happened and if it affected other media outlets."
As of Monday night, police in the area hadn't been called to investigate the hoax, according to the Great Falls Tribune
Lt. Shane Sorensen of the Great Falls Police Department told the Tribune he wasn't sure what kind of legal penalty if any the hacker could face. But he added that a few people had called into the police department to verify the reports.
“We had four calls checking to see if it was true. And then I thought, ‘Wait. What if?’” Sorensen told the paper. “We can report in the city, there have been no sightings of dead bodies rising from the ground.”
Here's what the Montana viewers heard and saw:
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