The Hacking of a Luxury Yachts GPS and Ethical Implications

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We know that our modern technology is not as foolproof and reliable as we hope when we really need it. We saw it fail, causing train accidents, plane crashes and even failed luxury cruise liners. We witnessed the disappearance of our rockets and we were even informed that our electric cars, laptops and other equipment could ignite at any time. We trust all our technology, but to a certain extent. Yes, and maybe it's wise – take the GPS, for example – yes, let's talk about it?

There was a troubling article in the International Business Times titled; "GPS Terrorism: Hackers Could Harness Locating Technology to Hijack Ships, Aircraft", by Ryan W. Neil, published July 29, 2013. In this article, we find a graduate computer student who has been impressed enough to have hacked a luxury yacht. He resumed his GPS navigation system and could therefore order the yacht to go wherever he wanted. It's pretty good for bragging rights in the context of a hacking convention, but it also points to the dark side, black hackers and even terrorism.

While hackers can hijack the GPS system from lost ships, especially large ships and ships, such as cruise ships, container ships, large oil tankers or cargo ships, they can cause a large number of injuries. Not to mention a small ecological ecological disaster. A ship sunk at the entrance of a port or a point of maritime throttling could cause serious logistical problems. Think of the Panama Canal, the Suez Canal or even the Houston Canal. And if someone hacked a luxury yacht and was trying to crash into a military ship?

No, the damage would not be as bad as you might think because the military ship is very powerful. Would the captain of the military ship be ordered to open fire if he were to be fired by a private vessel? He would have the right to do it, but dare they? And if there were friends and family of notoriety on this ship?

If all luxury yachts have similar GPS systems, and many of them, then they are all under threat. Often, these special GPS systems are installed on freighters, which allows them to cross at night without touching or to navigate very closely to the maritime throttling points without risk of collision.

Indeed, it would be a terrorist dream that would not do it? Would it not be better if this graduate student did not alert the media, or did not warn all his friends to brag about his rights? Would not it have been better if he did not do it at all or did he only do it together with a GPS company he was working with to help them improve their system? Some people do very bad judgment. Unfortunately, we can all pay the price one day. The computer scientist should have taken it differently. What happened is unacceptable. Please consider all of this and think about it.


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