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Reminder About Sage EAS Security Update

State EAS chair says failure to download it can cause RWT problems

Here’s a technical reminder for some EAS equipment users. It comes courtesy of the Alabama Broadcasters Association but will be of interest more broadly.

ABA’s technical newsletter, written by veteran engineer Larry Wilkins, notes that several stations that use Sage Endec EAS units had stopped receiving the required weekly test (RWT) from IPAWS late in 2020.

The problem was discovered to be a missing replacement for an intermediate signing certificate. You can download it here or via the Sage firmware revision announcement.

Wilkins, who chairs the state’s EAS Committee, wrote that ABA also identified a few stations that were still operating with outdated firmware, which is another FCC violation.

“The fact that so many stations were missing the IPAWS RWT for several weeks is disturbing, since the Chief Operator should have noticed this during the weekly station log review,” he wrote.

“Remember the FCC rules require that the CO review the station log weekly and make notes of any missing or incorrect entries. Discrepancies that continue should be reported to engineering or management for correction. It is not enough just to print the log and put it a file; it must be reviewed and signed by the Chief Operator and report any problems to the correct station personnel.”

Not complying with these EAS issues, Wilkins concluded, can open a station up to a Notice of Violation and fine.

Radio World also checked in with Harold Price, president of Sage Alerting, who said that the cr-rev5 update contained a replacement for an intermediate signing certificate that expired in October 2020.

“These certificates are used to validate FEMA alerts, they do expire from time to time and must be replaced,” he wrote. “The next expiration is in August 2021. An update for that certificate has not yet been issued by the government. We recommend signing up for your EAS equipment provider’s support notifications, and check their websites for these and other updates.”