Photo shows password stuck to screen at Hawaii’s emergency management office

Jeffrey Wong, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency's current operations officer, shows computer screens monitoring hazards at the agency's headquarters in Honolulu on Friday, July 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Jennifer Sinco Kelleher)

HONOLULU, HI (WCMH) – Under fresh scrutiny after the weekend’s ballistic missile alert, internet users found a seemingly worrisome photo taken at Hawaii’s EMA headquarters.

A photo taken during an Associated Press tour at the EMA’s headquarters in July 2017 shows a Post-It note stuck to a computer screen with a password written on it.

Richard Rapoza, an emergency management agency spokesman, told Hawaii News Now that the password is authentic and was actually used for an “internal application.”

(Click for larger size)
Jeffrey Wong, the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency’s current operations officer, shows computer screens monitoring hazards at the agency’s headquarters in Honolulu on Friday, July 21, 2017. Hawaii is the first state to prepare the public for the possibility of a ballistic missile strike from North Korea. (AP Photo/Jennifer Sinco Kelleher)

Rapoza did not say what the password was used for.

“It wasn’t for any major piece of software,” Rapoza added.

Rapoza did acknowledge that it’s not a good idea to leave passwords around in plain sight.

On Saturday, the agency mistakenly sent an alert to cellphones with a warning to seek immediate shelter because a ballistic missile was “inbound to Hawaii.”

The agency followed up with a cellphone alert 38 minutes later saying the initial alert was a false alarm.

The agency posted a note on Twitter about the false alarm about 10 minutes after the initial alert.

But it took officials longer to work up and push out the false alarm alert to cellphones.

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