US Navy War Ships Are Being Hacked? 4 Wrecks in 1 Year

The Navy’s 4th accident this year is stirring concerns about hackers targeting US warships.

Recent accidents at sea have raised concern about external issues affecting US warships. Experts have downplayed likelihood of hackers disrupting US naval navigation systems. But commercial and private maritime navigation systems are vulnerable to malicious actors.

The collision of guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain with a tanker near Singapore was the fourth accident involving ships from the US Navy’s 7th fleet in less than a year.

Two of the incidents — collisions involving the McCain and the USS Fitzgerald earlier this summer — have left a total of 17 sailors dead or missing, more than the 11 service members killed in Afghanistan so far this year.

In the aftermath of the McCain and Fitzgerald collisions, the demands facing the US Navy, and the Pacific fleet in particular, have gotten renewed focus. Greater operational demands on fewer ships have cut into time for rest as well as time dedicated to training (and the nature of that training has changed as well).

In light of such demands, experience suggests that in high-traffic areas mistakes by humans manning the ships remained a likely culprit, said Goward, a former Coast Guard captain. “It’s a difficult environment to be in and human error is always present,” he told USA Today.

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