When the Seventh Fleet suffered two collisions in quick sequence, the Internet unsurprisingly buzzed with speculation that Navy systems had somehow been hacked. Although that is extremely unlikely, the speculation highlighted the role of communication in the U.S. Navy and its vulnerabilities. Hacking exploits computers via communication systems—what used to be called a deception measure. The usual fear is that someone can break our codes and read our mail, though adversaries have generally avoided the next step, sending deceptive messages, for fear that the fact of codebreaking or system penetration would be revealed. That hacking is now commonplace means the possibility of codebreaking is taken much less seriously than in the past. In most civilian hacking instances, systems are attacked in ways that bypass encryption. To what extent are military systems safer?
World Naval Developments: Were our ships hacked?
By Norman Friedman