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

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
@[email protected]

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.

Amber alert test


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.

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

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