Unreal. Hawaii Emergency Management Office Had Password on Sticky Note in Published Photo

This photo provided by Jhune Liwanag shows a highway median sign broadcasting a message of "There is no threat" on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018 in Kaneohe, Hawaii. State emergency officials mistakenly sent out an emergency alert warning of an imminent missile strike, sending islanders into a panic Saturday. (Jhune Liwanag via The AP)

Since Saturday, when residents and vacationers in Hawaii were falsely alerted there was an incoming missile attack headed their way, the state’s emergency management department has been under intense scrutiny.


The mistake that caused many on and off the island to panic has made many wonder how such a mistake was even possible, let alone allowed to go uncorrected for over a half-hour.

Sharp eyes discovered this week that in a photo taken in July, the emergency management office’s operations manager, Jeffrey Wong, is standing in front of a wall of computer monitors and on one is a sticky note with a computer’s password clearly written.

(AP Photo/Jennifer Sinco Kelleher)

Writing down passwords on paper and keeping them in a secure place is one thing. In 2017, however, this is beyond negligent.

While it’s unlikely this exact computer was the one the false alarm was sent from, it does call into question the emergency management office’s security practices.

One would think 20-plus years into the internet age, people with access to sensitive systems would know better than to put their passwords on sticky notes attached to the computer they belong to.

If nothing else, Hawai’s false alarm has shown the United States (and the world) just how vulnerable we are to dumbassery.


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