Fake Ballistic Missile Attack Alert Rattles Hawaii
Hawaii residents were rattled Saturday morning when they received text alerts to their cell phones warning of an incoming ballistic missile attack. The alert advised them to "seek immediate shelter." The message, sent in all caps, was later determined to be a false alarm. A NORAD official is saying that the alerts may have been the result of an attack by hackers.
The emergency alert, which was sent to phones at around 8:00 a.m. Pacific, sent people scrambling for shelter, unsure how to respond to a possible attack. Twitter was flooded with reports of the warning, but 15 minutes later authorities announced that it had been a false alarm.
The alert was reportedly also pushed out on TV in Hawaii, interrupting sports programming and warning: "A missile may impact on land or sea in minutes."
The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency posted a terse tweet announcing that there was no incoming attack:
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell also confirmed that there had been no missile launch:
U.S. Pacific Command tweeted that the alert had been sent "in error."
One resident uploaded a video to Twitter saying, "I love you all, but I'm playing golf... the last thing I'm going to do." He added, "If you're watching this video, that means I didn't make it because of the missile that's coming towards Hawaii."