Most Serious Threat Yet Might Be the Cause of the USS McCain Collision

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Update: 9:30pm EST: There is still no evidence of hacking. The Commander of the 7th Fleet, Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin has been relieved of his command.

If true, there is a worse outcome of the collision involving the USS John S. McCain than even the lost lives and injuries to our sailors. The warship might have been hacked. Imagine if our destroyers, planes, nuclear subs can be hacked?

McClatchy reported that the collision could have been caused by a cyberattack on the Navy’s electronic guidance systems.

The collision in the Pacific was in a waterway connecting the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea and it is the fourth such accident involving a Seventh Fleet warship this year.

It occurred in a very busy area that controls 25 percent of the world’s shipping.

An ex-information warfare specialist for the Navy stated the obvious to McClatchy: “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,” Jeff Stutzman said.

“There’s something more than just human error going on because there would have been a lot of humans to be checks and balances.”

The military has also suffered from neglect under Obama’s reign, but hacking is a very real possibility.

Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. John Richardson, would not rule it out in this latest collision that cost the lives of 10 sailors.

Richardson ordered a service-wide operational pause Monday and a broad review of practices in the Pacific.

According to McClatchy, other recent incidents include one Jan. 31, in which a guided missile cruiser, the USS Antietam, ran aground off the coast of Japan, and another May 9, when the USS Lake Champlain was struck by a South Korean fishing vessel.

The USS Fitzgerald, a $1.5 billion vessel, collided with a container ship June 17, resulting in the deaths of seven sailors. The commanding officer and two other officers were formally removed from duties.

“I don’t have proof, but you have to wonder if there were electronic issues,” Stutzman told McClachy.

Todd Humphreys, a professor at the University of Texas and expert in satellite navigation systems, added: “Statistically, it looks very suspicious, doesn’t it?”

There are other irregularities according to McClatchy. GPS signals have been manipulated in the Black Sea, affecting about 20 ships.

In May, McClatchy reported that a cyberweapon stolen from the US National Security Agency debilitated hospitals and clinics in Britain, Spain and Portugal. Then in early August, McClatchy found that North Korea had likely initiated the WannaCry cyberattack that affected more than 150 countries, targeting hospitals, businesses and government offices. The culprits demanded bitcoin ransom which allows the guilty parties to remain anonymous.

 

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