Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Hawaiian missile alert agency stored password on Post-it-note

False Alarm at the Times Thirty-Eight Minutes and the Time Machine | Video Worth Watching
Kelvin Reese | 19 January, 2018, 01:56

On Tuesday, Japan's public broadcaster mistakenly sent an alert warning citizens of a North Korean missile launch and urging them to seek immediate shelter.

The false alert resulted in panic across the islands as people sought shelter - a student described the scene to HuffPost as "just pandemonium".

NHK said it was not sure how numerous 300,000 followers of its "NHK News and Disaster Prevention" service saw the alert or if anyone followed the instructions.

NHK apologised for the error on air, adding the "news alert sent earlier about NK missile was a mistake".

Under fresh scrutiny after the weekend's ballistic missile alert, internet users found a seemingly worrisome photo taken at Hawaii's EMA headquarters.

Authorities sent an emergency alert to cellphones in Hawaii: "BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII".

Well apparently Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency didn't get the memo because, not only did they have a system password stored on a Post-it-note, they allowed it to be photographed and sent out for all the world to see.

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The employee, believing the correct selection had been made, then went ahead and clicked "yes" when the system's computer prompt asked whether to proceed, Mr Rapoza said.

NHK issued another message within minutes calling the alert a mistake. State officials say it would take about five minutes for the military to analyze the launch trajectory, leaving only 12 to 15 minutes of warning time for residents. "My family and I were joking that what if the "Rocket Man" does something insane while we're here, what if a missile was coming our way what would you do?" Fallin says that before a message is sent out, multiple members of the Department of Emergency Management discuss the necessity of the alert and the approving message to send out.

But it took almost 40 minutes for a corrected message to be issued - with Hawaii's governor saying there was no automatic way to cancel the false alarm, meaning it had to be done manually.

U.S. Sen Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, said it's clear that human error initiated the false alert.

Clearly, as geopolitical tensions heat up, these systems need to be fixed sooner rather than later.The Aesop fable The Boy Who Cried Wolf comes to mind, whereby false alerts could lead to complacency and citizens failing to respond should a real emergency arise. "They took total responsibility", Trump said.

"Clearly, government agencies are not prepared and lack the capacity to deal with emergency situations", he said in a statement.

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