Could Hawaii’s Ballistic Missile Attack False Alarm Have Been Avoided?

Acoustic Technology, Inc. (ATI Systems) proprietary system control software, MassAlert™ is designed to prevent intrusion and to secure the communication links to warning systems in the field, which includes Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), & modern Transport Layer Security (TLS), the successor to Secure Socket Layer (SSL), for protection of communication running over IP links such as Ethernet, fiber optics, Wi-Fi, or satellite.
Acoustic Technology, Inc. (ATI Systems) proprietary system control software, MassAlert™ is designed to prevent intrusion and to secure the communication links to warning systems in the field, which includes Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), & modern Transport Layer Security (TLS), the successor to Secure Socket Layer (SSL), for protection of communication running over IP links such as Ethernet, fiber optics, Wi-Fi, or satellite.

An early-morning emergency alert warning of an incoming ballistic missile attack was dispatched to cellphones across Hawaii on January 13, 2018, setting off widespread panic.

It was later determined that the alert was a false alarm and resulted from human error.

(Learn More. Emergency alert sent to mobile phones and broadcast on radio and TV warning of an imminent ballistic missile attack turned out to be false and the result of human error. Courtesy of ABC News and YouTube. Posted on Jan 13, 2018)

Acoustic Technology, Inc. (ATI), a leader in the mass notification industry, and 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Award Program Platinum Award Winner for Best Mass Notification/Siren System, has long anticipated the potential for such vulnerabilities.

To avoid such catastrophic errors, ATI’s MassAlert® software adopts a “two-point” validation concept.

MassAlert® is customized for each client’s specific system and utilizes field unit icons layered onto location maps and building diagrams of the system to provide system overview and real-time status.
ATI’s proprietary system control software, MassAlert™ is designed to prevent intrusion and to secure the communication links to warning systems in the field, which includes AES & modern TLS, the successor to SSL, for protection of communication running over IP links such as Ethernet, fiber optics, Wi-Fi, or satellite.

This design is to prevent accidental system activations by a single individual.

  • In practice, once one operator activates a system another operator is prompted to confirm system activation.

  • The second operator can be notified through various means including SMS, automated phone call, smartphone application, and others.

It is possible for a group of multiple persons to be prompted in case of system activation.

  • Any of these operators can respond to the request for confirmation of the alert.

In the event of a true emergency speed of notification is imperative.

Instead of depending on a single confirming operator, who may be unavailable, this option ensures an immediate response.

ATI Systems

ATI’s sirens ensure that when an emergency management team sounds an all clear the message is heard by everyone affected.

Often cellphone networks will be overloaded by panicking people trying to reach their families to make sure they are safe.

ATI systems logoIn this situation, the use of traditional sirens is the best and most effective means of communication, and ATI Systems’ high-performance products are used by colleges and universities, cities and towns, ports, refineries, nuclear power plants, military bases and other homeland security locations to maintain the safety of their operations.