MARQUETTE (WWJ/AP) – No, zombies aren’t attacking northern Michigan.
Two local television stations say hackers broke into their Emergency Alert System with messages warning of a zombie apocalypse.
Along with a crawl strip, an audio message warned viewers that “dead bodies are rising from their graves” and “attacking the living.”
The alert claimed the bodies were “attacking the living” and warned people not to “approach or apprehend these bodies as they are extremely dangerous.”
The network says there is no emergency and its engineers are investigating.
The messages ran on public station WNMU and ABC affiliate WBUP — Marquette broadcast area. Two Montana stations also were hit.
“It’s very serious,” WNMU Director of Broadcast and Audio Services, Eric Smith told WWJ Newsradio 950. “In mean, clearly this was a fake distress message, or a fake emergency alert message, but it could have been more serious — and that’s why we’re taking this very seriously and are determining what happened and how to prevent it in the future.”
Authorities have determined the source wasn’t local and may be from another country. There have been no arrests.
The National Association of Broadcasters sent an urgent memo to broadcast stations alerting them of the incident.
Michigan State Police, the FCC and the FBI are in investigating.
Zombies have emerged as a pop culture phenomenon and talk about a possible zombie apocalypse has increased following gory accounts of drug-induced, flesh-eating attacks in the news last year. AMC series Walking Dead returned Feb. 10 with 12.3 million viewers tuning in to the season premiere.
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)