ASP Board Member Admiral William Fallon, USN (Ret.) was recently quoted in the Washington Post Digital warfare tech at sea helping US foes evade sanctions, an article discussing how hostile nations and opportunistic shipping companies are exploiting technology that can help hide a ship’s location. Fallon noted said the U.S. Navy is aware of the threat emanating from a growing number of so-called “gray zone” national security challenges. According to Fallon,
Any time you can deceive somebody into believing you’re somewhere where you’re not is concerning. It illustrates the extent to which people who don’t have any scruples are willing to go to achieve their objectives and the ease with which they can do it.
While this technology has been feasible for decades, U.S. authorities have been slow to catch on to its spread to commercial shipping. The Washington Post found an example of an oil tanker evading U.S. sanctions against Iran using this digital warfare technique. This proliferation can not only trick commercial organizations monitoring shipping traffic, it can also deceive governments enforcing maritime security.