Radio broadcasting software provider Radio Shack (RSH) recently reported that some radio stations in its network have a frequency assigned to the gator broadcast.
The software vendor said the gators were being broadcast on a “local network” where the frequency “could be easily spoofed by an outside party.”
In addition, the gatherers were being identified as “gators.”
“We were just trying to identify a local network that could be easily hacked,” RSH said in a blog post, according to the Associated Press.
“If you can get a network to respond to a gatherer’s signal, you can spoof it.”
Radio stations have a range of frequencies, and some have their own unique channels that can be assigned to different frequency ranges.
The FCC’s radio broadcast rules specifically ban stations from broadcasting a gato signal on “any frequency.”
A station is not required to broadcast a gating signal if the signal falls outside the range of the FCC’s limits, which include a maximum of 50 MHz for public safety and other emergency applications.
The radio broadcast rule does not apply to the frequency assigned by the FCC.
Radio stations that broadcast on “a local network” that is not the public safety or emergency channels must identify themselves on their website.
The Radio Shack blog post also included the frequency information for the gats signal that was identified by RSH as a gated channel.
The gators signal can be heard on many stations’ broadcasts, but the software vendor has not released a map showing where they are located.