The U.S. Navy now has an unmanned drone warship. Could it be hacked at sea?


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Spoofing GPS is surprisingly easy; detecting it is surprisingly hard

What could go wrong?

(Answer: everything.)


The U.S. Navy now has an unmanned drone warship. Could it be hacked at sea?

The first Navy drone ship is a 132-foot ACTUV (Antisubmarine warfare Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel) known as Sea Hunter

It’s difficult to believe that a country which has yet to master the metric system has mastered cybersecurity.


The US military has largely been on the metric system for generations. Ground movements are measured in “klicks” (kilometers), most ammo is measured in millimeters, etc.


Hacked is the least of the problems. What’s to keep some fisherman from stripping the thing for parts?



Blue Screen of Death, like the USS Yorktown?


Sadly, the USN still even measures their guns in inches. They even have this idiotic hodgepodge called the “kiloyard”. Philistines!

But yeah, the Army and Air Force learned to count. The Marines can when it suits them, but they’re still largely married to Navy tradition and use a ridiculous blend of metric and imperial. Bah!

Okay, petty rant over. Back to our regularly scheduled game of battleship.


The U.S. Navy now has an unmanned drone warship. Could it be hacked at sea?



[quote=“xeni, post:1, topic:77599”]But some are concerned that with no humans at the controls, these “robot ships” could be hacked, pwned remotely, and used by America’s enemies to attack the United States.[/quote]Yes, I hear the military is storing data on hard drives now! What will we do if their computers are hacked and their secrets are stolen?!

(The nukes are safe, at least.)





at a future cost of 20 million a piece, these are a bit terrifying.

Especially if you’re a nation lacking a blue water navy.



I was looking for that when I found the other one. Great minds. Mediocre minds too!


Why make a drone warship when they could build a drone submarine?


Really? I’d think that the concept would be most terrifying for any nation that has a blue water navy.

The current model is nice and cuddly and has that superfluous structure on the top etc. to look like a human sort of vessel. I really don’t see it being more than a generation or two before it’s basically a self propelled torpedo, or worse, torpedo platform. For that matter if you take out the need to keep humans alive on board they wouldn’t even have to be made of metal - they could be radar invisible chunks of self propelled plastic or rubber.

There would be some limitations in range and capacity, but not really in processing power. And if a non-military sf nerd like me can think of about 600 ways to use a swarm of cheap-to-build self propelled, self directed invisible underwater kamikaze boats or hunter-seeker mines to neutralize (sink) a carrier group (or several at once), I’m sure that some highly focused military types in those countries without blue water navies can also come up with a few.

They couldn’t be used to invade somewhere, but they might certainly be used to deny anyone else the ability to invade (or otherwise use the ocean in a particular place).

What would a world look like where suddenly nobody could project power with navies?


All good points. I’m thinking a blockade with these things would be very rough, and only one side would have casualties from breaking it.


“Why don’t we have both???”


What does the law of the sea say? Could someone argue that with no crew the ship counts as abandoned and therefore free to salvage?