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Navy Diversifies Ships' Cyber Systems to Foil Hackers
IEEE Spectrum online

Cyber attacks could prove just as deadly to technologically advanced warships as missiles and torpedoes in the future. That is why the U.S. Navy has been developing a defense system to protect its ships against hackers who threaten to disable or take control of critical shipboard systems.

The Resilient Hull, Mechanical, and Electrical Security (RHIMES) system aims to prevent cyber attackers from compromising the programmable logic controllers that connect a ship’s computers with onboard physical systems. RHIMES uses slightly different versions of core programming for each physical controller so that a cyber attack can’t disable or take over all shipboard systems in one fell swoop.

“In the event of a cyber attack, RHIMES makes it so that a different hack is required to exploit each controller,” said Ryan Craven, a program officer of the Cyber Security and Complex Software Systems Program in the Office of Naval Research, in a press release.“The same exact exploit can’t be used against more than one controller.”