The U.S. Navy is investigating if nefarious forces were behind the deadly crash sustained by the USS John S. McCain destroyer. Investigators are zeroing in on where or not hackers infiltrated the ship’s systems prior to colliding with a merchant vessel.
Foreign Policy Magazine reports:
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The military is examining whether compromised computer systems were responsible for one of two U.S. Navy destroyer collisions with merchant vessels that occurred in recent months, Vice Admiral Jan Tighe, the deputy chief of naval operations for information warfare, said on Thursday.
Naval investigators are scrambling to determine the causes of the mishaps, including whether hackers infiltrated the computer systems of the USS John S. McCain ahead of the collision on Aug. 21, Tighe said during an appearance at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
Investigators are not, however, considering the possibility that the USS Fitzgerald collision, which took place on June 17, was the result of hacking.
“With the McCain incident happening so close to the Fitzgerald,” questions immediately arose about whether computer manipulation could have been the cause of the crash, Tighe said. The Navy has no indication that a cyberattack was behind either of the incidents, but is dispatching investigators to the McCain to put those questions to rest, she said.
Tighe said the Navy plans to use the results of the McCain probe to include a look at cybersecurity in future investigations.
10 U.S. sailors went missing after the USS John McCain collided wth a commercial tanker off the coast of Singapore on Sunday. The first set of videos and photos show extensive damage to the destroyer. All sailors have been pronounced dead.
DVID reports on the damage sustained by the Navy vessel:
Damage to the portside is visible as the Guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) steers towards Changi Naval Base, Republic of Singapore, following a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC while underway east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore on Aug. 21. Significant damage to the hull resulted in flooding to nearby compartments, including crew berthing, machinery, and communications rooms. Damage control efforts by the crew halted further flooding. The incident will be investigated.