Test Amber Alert accidentally sent out warning of Chucky from the Child’s Play horror movies

Graham Cluley
@gcluley

Test Amber Alert accidentally sent out warning of Chucky from the Child's Play horror movies

Repeat after me: you should be very careful when running tests not to accidentally “go live.”

Just ask the folks at the Texas Department of Public Safety, who sent out an accidental Amber Alert.

Normally Amber Alert messages are used to warn of genuinely missing children.

But in this case, the child abduction emergency alert warned recipients to be on the lookout for the horror movie doll killer Chucky, dressed in blue denim overalls and carrying a kitchen knife.

Chucky

Age: 28 year(s)
Hair: Red or Auburn
Height: 3'1"
Race: Other: Doll
Weight (Lbs): 16
Gender: Male
Eyes: Blue

Additional information: Blue denim overalls with multi-colored striped long sleeve shirt wielding a huge kitchen knife

The warning about Chucky was accompanied by the description and snapshot of his supposed victim, a spooky-looking character called Glen.

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In a statement issued to the media, the Texas Department of Public Safety explained what had gone wrong:

“This was actually a test we were running on a dev server and it accidentally went out. We appreciate you reaching out to us to verify this. We do apologize for this inconvenience (to) you.”

I suppose as cock-ups go, things could have been worse.

At least they didn’t send out an emergency alert to every mobile phone in Hawaii warning of an incoming ballistic missile.

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

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