Was the US Navy Hacked?

The US Navy has been involved in several accidents this year with two being fatal. In the last two months, two navy vessels have collided with commercial vessels leading to some speculations that this might have been the result of cyber-attacks. Asked about these rumors, the Navy spokesman said that this is not possible. However, they promised that they would get into the details and will consider hacking as a possibility. This came after rumors emerged from computer security circles and twitter that the latest collision was caused by jamming or a cyber-attack. Experts feel that with the modern marine time navigation being highly computerized coupled with the ever increasing threats of cyber-attacks, these incidents should be investigated. Furthermore, most of the cyber-attacks are usually directed to the US Government and its entities meaning that a hack could be possible. When responding to these acquisitions, John Richardson who is the naval operations chief said that they have had no indication that the accident was caused by a cyber-attack. He, however, promised that they would review the issue. Upon tweeting this information on Tuesday, it had been retweeted over 900 times by Wednesday. While there may be no evidence, technology experts say that there is a possibility of the accident being as a result of GPS hack.

Todd Humphreys who is an aerospace professor at the University of Texas said that he strongly feels that the accident was as a result of crew negligence. The professor specializes in issues related to GPS security. Five sailors were injured while 10 died when the USS missile destroyer John S. McCain was involved in an accident with a Malaysia tanker. The accident occurred on Monday this week. Almost a month ago, USS Fitzgerald was involved in an accident near Japan that resulted in the death of 17 sailors. These are incidents that have left the navy worried with many people expressing concerns about the well-being of the sailors. The Monday accident saw Joseph Aucoin fired with the navy saying that they are not confident with his leadership. Joseph Aucoin was the 7th Fleet Commander. At the same time, the US Navy announced that they would halt all global operations until they can be sure about the safety of its sailors. It’s possible to jam navigational software as such technologies are available. However, the US Navy is known for using strong encrypted version that is very difficult to hack.

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