A strange Chinese audio message was heard over the intercom at the National Weather Service center on Wednesday.
The voice was from a woman and the 45-second message was also heard by building employees at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Center for Weather and Climate Prediction.
The intercom message, translated from Chinese, said something to the effect of “you have a package from Amazon at the Chinese Embassy, press 1 for more details,” according to a National Weather Service employee who spoke to the Washington Post.
The unexplained message took employees by surprise, the Post’s sources said, because the intercom has rarely been used—typically only for fire drills.
“We are aware of the Chinese message that is propagating through the phone system and was [broadcast] over the building PA,” read an email from Doug Fenderson, the branch chief for infrastructure and Web services at the center, sent at 12:50 p.m, reports the Post. “We are engaging the Vendor AT&T to alert them of the incident and get root cause. The phone [system] is not tied to any of the Government IT controlled systems in the building. Please do not be alarmed.”
When the Post reached out to the National Weather Service, the agency said they still can’t explain the source of the message or how it entered their systems.
In 2014, hackers from China breached the federal weather network at NOAA and disrupted the flow of some satellite imagery and data products.
In a statement on Thursday, the NOAA said they had uncovered the cause of the rogue message: "a series of robocalls."
This story has been updated to include the cause of the message.