U.S. Government Investigating If Navy Destroyer Navigation Was Hacked

Investigators are looking into if the navigation system on the USS John S McCain was hacked.

Investigators are looking into if the navigation system on the USS John S McCain was hacked.

Hacking Concerns Being Investigated For USS John S. McCain

While concern grows about the possibility of cyber sabotage in Monday’s collision between a United States Navy guided missile destroyer and an oil tanker, the Navy said that the investigation is ongoing.

The incident occurred Monday, August 21, near Singapore, and involved the USS John S. McCain, according to Fox News.  Recovery efforts are still being made for 10 missing sailors, although at least one body was found in a sealed compartment on the destroyer.  The John S McCain suffered “significant damage” to its hull.

Admiral John Richardson ordered “an operational pause” in all Navy fleets throughout the world.

The Admiral said that there was no “evidence of cyber intrusion or sabotage”, but cyber experts won’t discount the possibility especially given the location of the warship.  He called for a review of “the 7th Fleet’s maintenance, personnel and equipment in the region,” and for a “new focus” on surface warfare training, which includes tactical and navigational proficiency.

Jeff Stutzman, former Navy information warfare specialist, and who now works for a cyber threat intelligence company, said that “there’s something more than just human error going on.”

He said, “When you are going through the Strait of Malacca, you can’t tell me that a Navy destroyer doesn’t have a full navigation team going with full lookouts on every wing and extra people on radar.”

In addition to the missing 10 sailors, four were transported to Singapore for treatment and remain hospitalized.

This is the second collision within the past two months between a destroyer and a private ship.  On June 17, the USS Fitzgerald was badly damaged when it collided with a Philippines container ship in the waters off of Japan.

The USS Fitzgerald is also a destroyer assigned to the 7th fleet. Seven sailors drowned during that incident.  After an investigation, the top three officers on the USS Fitzgerald were removed from duty.