SAMBRO would have prevented the Hawaiian human error nuke scare

An early-morning emergency alert mistakenly warning of an incoming ballistic missile attack was dispatched to cellphones across Hawaii on Saturday, setting off widespread panic in a state that was already on edge because of escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea.

read the NYTimes Full Story

To safeguard from such mishaps that can be caused by a single user, in SAMBRO, we had introduced two user roles: a) Alert-Author (one to edit the message) and b) Alert-Approver (a supervisor who authenticates the message before dissemination). Four-eyes principle is common practice with such sensitive actions. The approval can be done with a mobile handheld with the a login and a couple of clicks.

Even if such a mistake was made, the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) provides a mechanism for cancelling such erroneous messages. The CAP-enabled SAMBRO provides functionality to invoke the cancellation process. The cancel button, in the image below, doesn’t mean cancel what you have been doing, instead it is intended to issue a cancellation message that revokes the previously issued message.


  1. “It took about 38 minutes to send a second alert that said the original one was an error. In its report, the Federal Communications Commission faulted Hawaii’s emergency agency for lacking measures to prevent the mistake and to quickly notify the public to disregard it.” –

    With SAMBRO it would have taken seconds, as you can see from the “cancel” button in the image above.


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