Latest US Navy Collision Fuels Speculation About ‘Hacking’

Navy Chief: No Indications of Any Sort of Sabotage on Ship

On Monday, the USS John S. McCain crashed into an oil tanker near Singapore. 10 sailors are missing after the incident, and a number of others wounded. Pentagon officials have not ruled on what happened, but have said they are leaning toward human error.

The problem is, Navy Chief Admiral John Richardson indicated that the Navy is going to “consider all possibilities.” It didn’t take long for people to jump from that to speculation that the boat was hacked, though Richardson conceded there were “no indications” that this was the case.

Itay Glick, a former employee of the Israeli cyber-warfare unit, said he doesn’t believe it’s a coincidence that this is the second boat in the US 7th Fleet to have a deadly crash in the last three months, saying “there may be a connection.”

US ships in the Pacific have been struggling not to smack into things all year, and the USS McCain is actually the fourth such incident. The USS Antietam was the first to run into such a problem, running aground in Tokyo Bay.

The Navy seems to be losing patience, and on Tuesday night announced that they are removing Vice Admiral Joseph Aucoin, the commander of the 7th fleet,from duty. With other commanders also relieved over these incidents, the Navy seems to believe these to be simple leadership failures.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.