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USGS earthquake alerts hacked?

A peculiar earthquake on the Russian-Ukrainian border
broken image
The USGS ENS just issued news about an magnitde 6.9 earthquake in the border region between Russia and Ukraine. Geologically, this does not make any sense at all and almost the only realistic source of so much seismic energy in this region would be a Megaton nuclear explosion. This obviously did not happen.
Rather it looks as if some cyber warrior gained control over the ENS system. The report has some errors (the coordinates are too round, the number of phases is zero, the uncertainty is zero) which make it seem as if somebody without too much seismological knowledge fed this into the database to be automatically send around.
The USGS currently does not list an event pt 15044001, so maybe the hack just affected the notification system.
Apparently, this "event" did not make it into the news, so maybe only a subset of recipients was affected (or only full nerds subscribed the ENS), but in the current situation there might be some players that would benefit from such rumours, no matter how shortlived.
Crazy times.
Apparently somebody else noticed:
Here is the full text of the message:
-------- Ursprüngliche Nachricht --------
Gesendet: 13. Februar 2015 20:14:20 MEZ
Betreff: 2015-02-13 18:59:36 (M6.8) RUSSIA-UKRAINE BORDER REGION 52.8 32.0 (49202)
Geographic coordinates: 52.800N, 32.000E
Magnitude: 6.8
Depth: 10 km
Universal Time (UTC): 13 Feb 2015 18:59:36
Time near the Epicenter: 13 Feb 2015 21:59:36
Local standard time in your area: 13 Feb 2015 19:59:36
Location with respect to nearby cities:
16 km (10 mi) WNW of Klintsy, Russia
29 km (18 mi) N of Novozybkov, Russia
35 km (22 mi) SW of Surazh, Russia
45 km (28 mi) W of Unecha, Russia
280 km (174 mi) NNE of Kiev, Ukraine
event ID : pt 15044001
version : A
number of phases : 0
rms misfit : 0.00 seconds
horizontal location error : 0.0 km
vertical location error : 0.0 km
maximum azimuthal gap :
distance to nearest station :
Flinn-Engdahl Region Number = 724
This event has been reviewed by a seismologist
For subsequent updates, maps, and technical information, see:
Pacific Tsunami Warning Center
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration