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Security

A photo accidentally revealed a password for Hawaii’s emergency agency

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In the aftermath of an erroneous missile warning that terrified Hawaiians on Saturday (Jan. 13), the state’s emergency management agency has come under increased scrutiny, from the poor design of the software that enables alerts to a particularly slapdash security measure by one of its employees.

Old photos from the Associated Press inside the agency’s office appear to show an unspecified password on a yellow Post-It note, stuck to a computer monitor. The image, which shows operations manger Jeffrey Wong standing in front of the computer, was taken in July and appeared in articles published at the time about the agency’s preparedness in the face of a nuclear threat.

The agency verified that the password is indeed real but wouldn’t go into specifics on what program the password was supposed to be used for. – READ MORE

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Japan’s public broadcaster NHK sent out a false alarm about a North Korean missile launch Tuesday — days after a similar mistake caused widespread panic in Hawaii. The error was corrected within minutes.

An NHK alert reading, “It appears that North Korea has launched a missile,” was sent to app users just before 7 p.m. Tuesday (5 a.m. ET). A banner with similar wording appeared at the top of its website. The information was not released on the broadcasters TV channel, according to local reports.

Within five minutes, NHK deleted the push alert and stories related to the warning, and issued an apology on its website.

Seemingly due to the quick response from the broadcaster, there was limited social media commentary regarding the incident in Japan. It was not immediately clear what triggered the mistake. – READ MORE


The Hawaii emergency management employee who set off a statewide panic on Saturday morning by sending out a false alarm about an incoming ballistic missile has been temporarily reassigned, but there are no plans to fire him or identify him publicly, a state official said.

The employee, who has worked for the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency for 10 years, sent the missile alert to cellphones across the state by picking the wrong option on his computer for a routine drill, and then confirming his choice, according to Richard Rapoza, the agency’s public information officer.

“We’re not going to take action till we have all the facts,” Mr. Rapoza said, adding that the employee has been temporarily reassigned to a part of the agency’s emergency operations center where he does not have access to the warning system. Mr. Rapoza declined to describe the employee’s new duties.

During the 38 minutes it took the agency to send a corrective alert rescinding the warning on Saturday, residents and tourists in a state that was already on edge over escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea frantically said their goodbyes and took shelter. Fear turned to anger when the alert turned out to be a false alarm.

Mr. Rapoza said he doubted that the agency would ever publicly identify the employee, who he said “feels terrible, as you can imagine.” – READ MORE


After Hawaii emergency officials confirmed that an alert about an inbound ballistic missile was a mistake, they said the employee who pushed the wrong button feels awful about the panic-inducing incident.

Vern Miyagi, who oversees the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (EMA), said at a news conference late Saturday that the civil defense employee who pushed the wrong button regrets what took place.

“This guy feels bad, right. He’s not doing this on purpose – it was a mistake on his part and he feels terrible about it,” said Miyagi in a press conference Saturday afternoon.

Miyagi, a retired Army major general, said the employee would be “counseled and drilled so this never happens again,” but he did not say whether there would be disciplinary measures.

Rather than triggering a test of the system, it went into actual event mode. He confirmed that to trigger the alert, there is a two-step process involving only one employee — who both triggers the alarm, then also confirms it.

“There is a screen that says, ‘Are you sure you want to do this?'” Miyagi said. The employee confirmed the alert, inadvertently causing a panic in a state already on edge over saber-rattling missile threats from North Korea. – READ MORE


On Saturday, an inbound ballistic missile alert hit Hawaii. At first, the people on the island were under the impression that it was not a drill. Forty minutes later, the alarm ended, and everything was okay.

While the majority of America attributes the colossal mistake to human error, Curtis blames the president.

Curtis’s emotionally-propelled argument didn’t do her any good. Instead, it apparently blew up in her face. – READ MORE


Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D) Politicizes False Missile Alert: “Our leaders have failed us. Donald Trump is taking too long. He’s not taking this threat seriously …”

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