For more than two weeks, the Federal Ministry of the Interior has been looking for the cause of the breakdowns on the warning day. So far, there are many indications that the software, which is supposed to alert the population in the event of disasters, is too demanding.
Since the digital sirens remained silent on the national warning day two weeks ago, the authorities involved in Germany have been investigating the cause. The Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI) has to clarify why the nationally announced warning was at least half an hour late on the mobile phones of most users of the official warning apps “Nina” and “Katwarn”. The head of the Federal Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance (BBK), who has now been fired, Christoph Unger had declared after the breakdown that warnings that had not been agreed upon that had been sent into the system by control centers from the federal states were responsible. These warnings would have practically blocked the modular warning system (MoWaS). In MoWaS, the warnings from the connected control centers are collected and distributed to the output channels, such as the warning apps.
The Berliner Morgenpost citing anonymous sources reported that such an unsolicited warning had been sent by the state of Bavaria, among others. The Bavarian State Ministry of the Interior sees it differently. The ministry itself did not warn, writes a spokeswoman, but in fact some regional operations centers have sent warnings, such as the control center Bayerischer Untermain and the city of Munich. Contrary to what the BBK claimed, these warnings had been announced and were not objected to by the national authority.
To SZ-Information there were a large number of regional warnings from various federal states. It is difficult to imagine that none of these authorities knowingly adhered to the BBK’s explicit requirements. The BMI, which is responsible for processing the warning failure, now sees the main cause at another point in the system. On September 10, shortly before 11 a.m., when the warning was supposed to be sent, various authorities connected to the national warning system MoWaS kept updating their inboxes in anticipation of the report. When the message did not arrive on time, further updates were made. This continuous database query has overloaded the system, explains a spokesman for the BMI.
According to the BMI, the investigation of the incident should still take some time. Whether the clogging of MoWaS due to warnings from various authorities or the overload due to constant manual updates – both explanations are embarrassing for the federal warning system. The software was specially built for the Federal Republic by the Hamburg company Mecom and is intended to guarantee “reliable and fast communication channels” in the event of a crisis.
This communication went wrong in the case of the warning day. Manuel Atug, founder and spokesman of the Kritis AG, suspects that the resources of the responsible authority BBK could also play a role: “Apparently the software is not a reliable method that has been sufficiently tested and in the sense of the The requirement for a warning system is resilient, “says Atug, who, together with other experts for critical infrastructure, had criticized the lack of error culture in the Ministry of the Interior in an open letter after Unger’s release.