Critical Infrastructure Security

New emergency alert cyber modifications proposed by FCC

Numerous changes to bolster the cybersecurity of the U.S. Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts have been proposed by Federal Communications Commission Chair Jessica Rosenworcel after vulnerabilities were discovered in the systems last month, reports The Record, a news site by cybersecurity firm Recorded Future. Such flaws could enable the release of illegitimate alerts on radio, TV, and cable networks, with researcher Ken Pyle, who identified the vulnerabilities, noting that the Federal Emergency Management Agency's lack of control over the systems is one of the prime security concerns. Under Rosenworcel's recommendations, EAS participants would be mandated to report EAS equipment compromises, while both EAS and Wireless Emergency Alerts program participants would be required to certify cybersecurity risk management plans annually. Rosenworcel also proposed participants' adoption of adequate security measures to defend their systems. "It is critical that these public safety systems are secure against cyber threats, which means that we must be proactive. The draft proposals shared today will help ensure that our national alerting systems work as intended during emergencies and the public can trust the warnings they receive," said Rosenworcel.

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