July 29, 2016

Hacking By US Submarines Continues

"America Is Hacking Other Countries With Stealthy Submarines

...The so-called "silent service" has a long history of using information technology to gain an edge on America's rivals. In the 1970s, the U.S. government instructed its submarines to tap undersea communications cables off the Russian coast, recording the messages being relayed back and forth between Soviet forces. [see Operation Ivy Bells]

These days, some U.S. subs come equipped with sophisticated antennas that can be used to intercept and manipulate other people's communications traffic, particularly on weak or unencrypted networks.

"We've gone where our targets have gone" - that is to say, online, said Stewart Baker, the National Security Agency's former general counsel, in an interview. "Only the most security-conscious now are completely cut off from the Internet." Cyberattacks are also much easier to carry out than to defend against, he said.

One of America's premier hacker subs, the USS Annapolis, is hooked into a much wider U.S. spying net that was disclosed as part of the 2013 Edward Snowden leaks, according to Adam Weinstein and William Arkin, writing last year for Gawker's intelligence and national security blog, Phase Zero. A leaked slide showed that in a typical week, the Navy performs hundreds of so-called "computer network exploitations," many of which are likely the result of submarine-based hacking.

"Annapolis and its sisters are the infiltrators of the new new of cyber warfare," wrote Arkin and Weinstein, "getting close to whatever enemy - inside their defensive zones - to jam and emit and spoof and hack. They do this through mast-mounted antennas and collection systems atop the conning tower, some of them one-of-a-kind devices made for hard to reach or specific targets, all of them black boxes of future war."

But even this doesn't compare to what the Navy wants to be able to do next: turn its submarines into motherships for underwater drones that can maneuver themselves even closer to shore and conduct jamming or hacking operations while allowing the sub to work at a distance... [as a "mothership" see the heavily modified USS Jimmy Carter]


See a National Interest commentary, August 4, 2016 on the above.


EMR said...

Obvious really. What could not be taken by high altitude flying and photo, or by scans of a passing spy satellite has to be done by other stealth means. The days of human I-spy trying to break into places is long gone, relics of the comic books.
Every thing is electronic up to a point. Russia has instigated the re-introduction of typewriters, making letters that are not transmitted at all, so that means a change in time factoring of updates.
Even the USA has decided to go back to old 8inch floppies and p.c. for missile systems , so that these cannot be hacked ever.

So, the world moves forwards, and backwards. The real pity is why we just cannot all get along !
If you boil it all down, each country has a host of own problems, the rich-poor divide, the industrial-agricultural divide, so if China or USA took over the other, you just multiply the hassle of Government and lot more persons to be policing.

Dr. Strangelove should be the film most repeated on t.v., then maybe some world-changers would get it !
When the world ends, the only piece of mankind will be that crew of the Jimmy Carter .. .. .. unthinkable ?

Josh said...


A nit pick, the US didn't 'go back to' 8 inch floppies; it simply never upgraded the infrastructure associated with its nuclear arsenal. Its air walled by obsolescence, not intention.