Littoral Combat Ship Network Can Be Hacked, Navy Probe Finds

 

 

 

 

”  The computer network on the U.S. Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship is vulnerable to hacking, according to findings by Navy cybersecurity specialists.

A “red team” assigned to test weaknesses in computer systems found major deficiencies last year on Lockheed Martin Corp.’s USS Freedom, said a government official familiar with the findings who asked not to be identified because the Navy report hasn’t been made public. The Freedom, the first of the new ships to be deployed, sailed to Singapore last month for eight months of testing of its manning and logistics operations.

The estimated price to build each vessel has doubled to $440 million, and its ability to survive to fight after an attack has been questioned.

The Littoral Combat Ship depends for its combat capability on communicating with better-armed vessels through its “Total Ship Computing Environment,” a maritime battle network linked by computers and sensors. The Navy and the Pentagon’s weapons testing office declined to say whether the vulnerabilities would affect operations of the ship or coordination with other vessels.

The program may face added scrutiny this year, starting tomorrow with a hearing on Navy ship programs convened by the House Armed Services Committee’s seapower panel. The U.S. Government Accountability Office also is working on a review that may be published in June.

The LCS depends on mission modules that are supposed to be swapped out depending on the duty at hand. The GAO said last month that the Navy plans to purchase 30 of a planned 52 vessels by 2018, before the first fully combat-capable modules for surface warfare, counter-mine operations and anti-submarine patrols are ready.

The modules the Navy has accepted so far “do not yet meet requirements,” GAO said.”