After an oil tanker collided with the USS John S. McCain on Monday, taking the lives of several sailors, the US Navy is conducting a full investigation, according to Fox News.
Some are saying that the terrible tragedy may have been more than just a horrific accident, especially considering the same thing happened three months ago to a ship in the same fleet. According to an ex-information warfare specialist, the collisions could be the result of cyber hacking: “There’s something more than just human error going on.”
— U.S. Navy (@USNavy) August 21, 2017
The USS John S. McCain was off the coast of Singapore when it was struck by an oil tanker. Jeff Stutzman, who was an information warfare specialist for the Navy before he went to work at a cyber threat intelligence company, says the location of the accident makes it suspicious.
According to Stutzman, the Navy sailors on board would have been on full alert to avoid accidents. “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.”
This was an eerily similar situation to the June 17th crash when the USS Fitzgerald was struck by a container ship off the coast of Japan where the waters are also said to be congested and difficult to navigate.
In addition to these two collisions were the incidents with the Navy cruiser USS Antietam and the USS Lake Champlain. The USS Antietam ran aground in Tokyo Bay, losing more than 1,000 gallons of oil into the ocean. The USS Lake Champlain struck a fishing boat outside of South Korea.
Itay Glick, founder of Votiro, a cyber security firm, said his initial reaction to the accidents was to suspect cyber terrorism. “I don’t believe in coincidence,” he said. “Both USS McCain and USS Fitzgerald were part of the 7th fleet, there is a relationship between these two events and there may be a connection.”
What makes the possibility of cyber hacks on our naval vessels even more concerning is that the 7th fleet is tasked with patrolling and defending the Asian Pacific theater, according to PBS. With the tensions between the US and North Korea, the loss of two ships in the area could leave us weakened should North Korea decide to attack.
According to Bryan McGrath, retired Navy commander, while the ships themselves wouldn’t be able to stop an intercontinental missile, they do provide an early warning system. The USS John S. McCain, in particular, is suited to providing targeting data on launched missiles to aid in their destruction before they reach their target destination.
Navy Admiral John Richardson has ordered all ships in the area to halt their operations pending further investigations into the cause of the collisions and to determine potential weaknesses. According to Sean Hannity’s website, the admiral made it clear there was no evidence of a hack, but cyber threats are being investigated as a possibility.
One warfare specialist says cyber warfare COULD be involved in the NAVY ship incidents. Do you think cyber hacking could be involved?
Whether or not this is a cyber attack on our Navy by North Korea or its allies remains to be seen, but the timing of the accidents and their exclusivity to the area make them incredibly suspicious.
If it’s revealed that the collisions were the result of hacks by a foreign government, the damage and loss of life could be interpreted as an act of war.