Cargo ships navigate the Panama Canal during an organized media tour by Italy's Salini Impregilo, one of the main sub contractors of the Panama Canal Expansion project, on the outskirts of Colon city, Panama May 11, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
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The risk of cyberattacks targeting ships' satellite navigation is pushing nations to delve back through history and develop backup systems with roots in World War II radio technology.South Korea is developing an alternative system using an earth-based navigation technology known as eLoran, while the United States is planning to follow suit.In June this year, a ship in the Black Sea reported to the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center that its GPS system had been disrupted and that over 20 ships in the same area had been similarly affected.A cyberattack that hit A.P. Moller-Maersk's IT systems in June 2017 and made global headlines did not involve navigation but underscored the threat hackers pose to the technology-dependent and inter-connected shipping industry.Developers of eLoran – the descendant of the loran (long-range navigation) system created during World War II – say it is difficult to jam as the average signal is an estimated 1.3 million times stronger than a GPS signal.In May, U.S. Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats told a Senate committee the global threat of electronic warfare attacks against space systems would rise in coming years.Many navigation technology experts say the system is hackable.
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