LYNDONVILLE, N.Y. — July 20, 2021 — Digital Alert Systems, the global leader in emergency communications solutions for video services providers, today announced the availability of an important update of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) digital certificates used to authenticate messaging from the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS).
The company has released updated IPAWS Certificate Authority (CA) credentials for the DASDEC™ and One-Net™ series of Emergency Alert System/Common Alerting Protocol (EAS/CAP) encoder/decoders to replace a certificate in the current certification chain that will expire on Aug. 21. All U.S. DASDEC and One-Net users are advised to replace the soon-to-expire certificate to ensure the required message authentication continues to operate properly. Digital Alert Systems reminds all EAS participants the FCC requires them to “configure their systems to reject all CAP-formatted EAS messages that include an invalid digital signature.”
“With just a few weeks to go, we urge DASDEC and One-Net customers to update their certificate files before Aug. 21 to prevent any disruptions,” said Adam Jones, senior sales engineer for Digital Alert Systems. “While this seems like an annual occurrence, our customers will be pleased to know this new certificate is good until April of 2024!”
Digital certificates, called CAs, are used by FEMA to create a chain of trust between an EAS device and the IPAWS servers. The DASDEC and One-Net EAS/CAP devices use these special digital certificates to validate the authenticity of IPAWS-sourced CAP alerts. These certificates are designed to expire on a specific date and time, requiring the issuing authority to publish new certificates as replacements.
All DASDEC and One-Net customers using the IPAWS system must have the latest certificates in place so only messages authenticated through IPAWS are processed. IPAWS users who do not update their equipment before Aug. 21 could see this error message: “Event Log: Digital Signature VERIFICATION ERROR: Signer UNTRUSTED! Check for correct CAP decoder CA file.” Alternatively, the device might simply ignore valid IPAWS alerts.
The new field service bulletin and CA file are now available from the Digital Alert Systems website at www.digitalalertsystems.com/
Further information about Digital Alert Systems and its products is available at www.digitalalertsystems.com.