Current Emergency Information - Emergency Alert System False Alarm - February 20th, 2020

February 21st, 2020 at 10:30AM

Last night around 8:30PM, numerous individuals reported seeing an Emergency Alert System notification on their television regarding a radiological incident in the state of Washington. This was followed by three additional alerts, each with messaging unrelated to an emergency incident. The messages were restricted to Wave cable television subscribers only. 

As confirmed on our Nixle text alert message last night, there was not, nor is there, any current radiological threat in or around Jefferson County. 

The messages do not appear to have been sent in error, as the very specific messaging included seem to convey a non-malicious hack or security breach. 

Jefferson County DEM can confirm that our two alert systems - Nixle and AlertSense - were not compromised and the messages did not originate from either system. The State Emergency Operations Center confirmed the message did not originate there, either. 

Wave Broadband has since confirmed that approximately 3,000 cable customers in Jefferson County were targeted by the alerts, and any customers watching television at that time, on any channel, would have seen them. 

Upon notification of the alerts, Wave took immediate action to prevent additional non-official emergency alerts from being sent, and is in the process of developing and implementing mitigating protocols that will prevent such a breach from occurring in the future.