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McClatchy: Cyber Hack Feared in USS John S. McCain Crash

Image: McClatchy: Cyber Hack Feared in USS John S. McCain Crash
Damage to the portside is visible on the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain following a collision with a merchant vessel earlier this month. (AP Photo/Joshua Fulton)

By    |   Monday, 21 August 2017 10:00 PM

Red flags are being raised over fears that the latest at-sea collision involving the USS John S. McCain could have been caused by a cyberattack on the Navy's electronic guidance systems, McClatchy reported.

The Pacific collision – the fourth involving a Seventh Fleet warship this year – occurred near the Strait of Malacca, a busy 1.7-mile-wide waterway connecting the Indian Ocean and South China Sea that accounts for roughly 25 percent of global shipping.

"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, an ex-information warfare specialist in the Navy who works at Wapack Labs, told McClatchy.

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

Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. John Richardson, did not rule out a cyberattack in the collision, from which 10 American sailors remain missing.

Richardson also 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 irregularities affecting the shipping industry as well, McClatchy reported.

For example, the outlet reported, GPS signals were manipulated in the eastern part of the Black Sea, affecting some 20 ships, McClatchy reported — the first known instance of GPS "spoofing," or misdirection.

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Red flags are being raised over fears that the latest at-sea collision involving the USS John S. McCain could have been caused by a cyberattack on the Navy's electronic guidance systems, McClatchy reported.
john s mccain, navy, warship, collusion
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2017-00-21
Monday, 21 August 2017 10:00 PM
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