Category Archives: National

EAS IPAWS Security Advisory

[FROM FEMA Advisory published 8/1/2022]

We recently became aware of certain vulnerabilities in EAS encoder/decoder devices that, if not updated to most recent software versions, could allow an actor to issue EAS alerts over the host infrastructure (TV, radio, cable network).

This exploit was successfully demonstrated by Ken Pyle, a security researcher at CYBIR.com, and may be presented as a proof of concept at the upcoming DEFCON 2022 conference in Las Vegas, August 11-14.

In short, the vulnerability is public knowledge and will be demonstrated to a large audience in the coming weeks.

FEMA strongly encourages EAS participants to ensure that:

  1. EAS devices and supporting systems are up to date with the most recent software versions and security patches;
  2. EAS devices are protected by a firewall;
  3. EAS devices and supporting systems are monitored and audit logs are regularly reviewed looking for unauthorized access.

KFMB-TV Goes Private Again

Investment private equity firms Standard General and Apollo Global Management announced last week they are jointly purchasing broadcasting holding company TEGNA for $5.4-billion. The purchase will include San Diego CBS affiliate KFMB (TV), which had been picked up by TEGNA in late 2017.

Standard General previously led Young Broadcasting out of bankruptcy, with the company acquiring a controlling stake in Media General, which sold to Nexstar in 2018. Apollo, meanwhile, owns the TV stations that had been operated by Cox Media Group, having acquired them in 2019.

KNX Begins Simulcasting on 97.1 FM

Audacy-owned KNX Los Angeles, known for its all-news radio format since 1968, began last week broadcasting on KNOU (FM) 97.1 and identifying itself exclusively by its FM channel location.

KNOU (FM) is licensed for 21 kW from Mt. Wilson with a directional antenna aimed southwest, so its signal toward most of the LA basin is compromised, but given its elevation, it still covers the region well.

With cars increasingly leaving out AM tuners (looking at you, Tesla), and with the superior fidelity of FM, the move could help boost listenership. Other Audacy all news outlets, such as KCBS San Francisco, WBBM Chicago, and KYW Philadelphia, now simulcast on FM stations.

SBE Elects First Woman President

New SBE President Andrea Cummis

The Society of Broadcast Engineers, the association for broadcast and multimedia technology professionals, announces the results of the 2021 election for the national board of directors. Andrea Cummis, CBT, CTO, was elected as the society’s president. Cummis is the chief technical officer of PBS39/WLVT-TV, in Bethlehem, PA. She is the first woman to be elected to hold the office. She is a member of SBE Chapter 15 in New York City.

Regarding the election, President-elect Cummis said, “I look forward to serving the Society and its members. President Wayne Pecena has led the society through an interesting and unusual time, and as everyone looks forward to a return to normal, I’m pleased that the society is still growing and thriving. I’m eager to work with the Board of Directors and the membership so we can expand our membership and outreach to the media professionals among us.”

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