The United States military is investigating whether the collisions between two navy destroyers and merchant ships in recent months was the result of cyber espionage; launching a probe to determine if the vessels were hacked by outside sources prior to the incidents.
According to Foreign Policy, federal investigators are frantically searching for the reason behind the deadly collisions, and are trying to determine whether “hackers infiltrated the computer systems” of either destroyer.
American military officials have long feared that foreign intruders could infiltrate a naval ship’s navigation equipment, effectively “blinding” its command of their true location and other vessels in the vicinity.
Earlier this year, the USS John S. McCain and USS Fitzgerald were severely damaged after colliding with merchant ships operating in the region.
The dual accidents left 17 American sailors dead and scores injured. In response, Naval Command ordered a halt to all operations until the military determined the root cause of the crash.
US officials confirm the Department of Defense is actively upgrading its cyber defenses to handle digital espionage, particularly in terms of navigation and the digital targeting of missiles and other weapons systems located on board.