Walking dead in Montana? Hackers broadcast zombie alert on KRTV

Feb. 12, 2013 | 10:08 a.m.

This post has been corrected. Please see note below for details.

A Montana TV station was the victim Monday of a zombie hoax.  One must ask: Was it a crazed “Walking Dead” fan?

The Great Falls, Mont., station KRTV has caught the attention of media nationwide after the emergency alert warning of a zombie attack.

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The “Steve Wilkos” show was exploring the subject “Teen Cheaters Take Lie Detectors” when the familiar buzzing sounds alerted viewers of an important announcement: “Authorities in your area have reported that 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.”

It was a hoax.  The Montana Television Network reportedly said hackers broke into the Emergency Alert System of KRTV and its CW station.  The broadcast went out in several Montana counties.

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Calls by the Los Angeles Times to  KRTV were not immediately returned Tuesday morning.

[Updated, 10:31 a.m. Feb. 12:  Sgt. Bryan Slavik said the zombie alert did not create panic and chaos in the streets of Great Falls.

Slavik, public information officer with the Great Falls Police Department, said the incident gave most a chuckle. There were some calls to the department, he said, but they were along the lines of, “If a zombie walks on my front lawn, can I shoot him?”

There has been no criminal complaint filed by KRTV, he said, and the only worry among authorities in Great Falls is that whoever did the hacking might do it again and this time in a more serious vein, “something people would take seriously.”  They would not like to see that happen.]

On the KRTV Facebook page, users were commenting on the media coverage of the story: “The Zombie alert has made it to CNN!” “Fox News just reported on the hacking of the EAS. KRTV just went national!”

One user noted that the French website Zombies World had even picked up the story: “KRTV: Alerte aux zombies!”

Could Monday’s hoax have been inspired by the return Sunday night of “The Walking Dead”?  As the Los Angeles Times reported Monday, the AMC show scored its highest ratings ever with its midseason debut.

[For the record, 1:25 p.m. Feb. 12: An earlier version of this post referred to the “Steve Wilkes” show.  The correct spelling is Wilkos.]

— Amy Hubbard


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21 Responses to Walking dead in Montana? Hackers broadcast zombie alert on KRTV

  1. saj says:

    In this day of high stress society a laugh is a breath of fresh air sometimes. Thanks. God Bless Amreica!

  2. Edwardo says:

    And there will be brain dead fools who believe this and are frightened by it.

  3. Shaun says:

    It wasn't Walking Dead. That line is from Shaun of the dead.

  4. saj says:

    Sometimes in life people need to be reminded we live in a temporary World. God is still in Control…. In a high stress society were in a good laugh is like a breathe of fresh air…..God bless America!

  5. OnlyMe says:

    Anyone who believed the zombies were real ,even for a second, should have to give their job up to someone who needs it who isn't in the bottom 5% intellectually!

  6. jodi says:

    i lived in Great Falls for years. why couldnt they have done that when i lived there…..

  7. AssHat says:

    Did you try turning it off and back on?

  8. lonilu says:

    It was crazy when that happened. Some of my friends called me freaking out. It was very exciting also!!! Wish it really happened :)

  9. Francois Olan says:

    I thought the mid-season debut of The Walking Dead sucked. I'm tired of the ongoing "governor" sub-plot.

    However, I am enjoying the nipples.

  10. Larry B. says:

    Gee, I thought it was a warning that Ron Paul, Eric Cantor and their cohorts were out fundraising door to door again.

  11. david reitter says:

    a Zombie is what a person looks like after years of staying inside holed up hacking the internet

  12. OnlyYou says:

    “Anyone who believed the zombies were real ,even for a second, should have to give their job up to someone who needs it who isn’t in the bottom 5% intellectually! ”

    Hahahahaha!!! How little you know….

  13. KMA says:

    I am ok w/ writting a fact, that I own a poster on"How to survive when Zombies attack."
    I do have to say I'm a big fan of AMC "Walking Dead" but in truth or biblical, It could happen w/ chemical war fare or (my faith) God saying enough is enough!
    We are only human. Who are we to say what will or won't happen.
    What scares me the most is a comic hacker. I'll give credit where credit is due. The hacker was clever. And, good for the hacker to intrude on a talk show were everyone talks over everyone else. Rather entertaining, yet scary at the same time. hmmm, what's next? My credit? Or the fact that George Bush (who I did not vote for) but non the less he was our President got hacked into and personal information about where he lives, where he stays that got out that caused alarm for his family and friends that he may have upset during his stay in Washington DC.

  14. cade says:

    Sorru to say but if you honestly believe a “zombie outbreak” is impossible you are a moron… Just think anout whos to say the rabies virus doesnt mutant just a little? Basically a zombie right? I mean traveling to the moon was an impossible idea but it still happened, i just think people need to wake up and see the world isnt this perfect place like its been portrayed as, a simple idea such as discovering alien life is no different than our government bombing its own buildings. You can think what you want but you dont know, no body does

  15. Jelly says:

    Peanut Butter!

  16. bibi says:

    Well It says in the bible,gods gona raise the dead ….we have an awesome god.ppl need to think about things n their life. god can take anyonez life at anytime.ppl need to read gods word.

  17. amanda rash says:

    what in the hell is this world coming to!!!!!!!!

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