Broadcasting networks around the world will often have a system in place for the rare occasion when an emergency message needs to be brought to viewers, so the chance to manipulate such a feature that can send a message to thousands or millions of people at once is naturally a prankster’s dream.
Such a move was actually pulled off yesterday, as a broadcast in the US state of Montana was interrupted by the ‘news’ of an impending zombie apocalypse [the picture seen here was found after a more detailed search, apparently the Disney Channel floods out the internet’s leading image requests for ‘montana zombie’].
The Montana Television Network, with affiliate broadcasters KRTV in the city of Great Falls noting that their version of The CW was the target of the hack.
The prank saw KRTV’s regular programming (which on The CW at the time was the Steve Wilkos Show) become over-ridden by a scrolling blue bar at the top of the screen reading general procedure messages, alongside a voiceover that explained the ‘situation’ to viewers. The announcement reported that ‘dead bodies are rising from their graves’ in a number of Montana counties, and that viewers are advised to stay in their homes.
The network have insisted that there was no real issue (hopefully not that anyone in the zombie-mad nation believed it), and that their engineers are looking into where the hack came from, stating: “The message did not come from our station, and appears to be the result of a hacker. Our engineers our looking into the origin of the alert to make sure a similar occurrence does not happen again.”
The interruption of Steve Wilkos can be seen below, but a make-believe outbreak of the undead couldn’t possibly be more entertaining than ‘Teen cheaters take lie detectors’, could it?