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Report: Coast Guard Interested in iPad Navigation Apps

CoastGuardCutterThe U.S. Coast Guard has put out a request for proposal for a course-plotting iPad application without special security requirements, Nextgov reported Friday.

Aliya Sternstein writes that the nature of the purchase calls for cybersecurity safeguards to prevent malicious code or hackers from getting sensitive flight information or hijacking the controls.

The Aug. 14 work order also does not limit software design stateside, an item which “opens up a significant risk area,” Bernard Skoch, a government information technology consultant, told Nextgov.

“It doesn’t take much imagination to envision a horrible scenario in which a bad actor corrupts every Coast Guard cockpit with a few keystrokes,” said Skoch, a retired Air Force brigadier general.

“The software will become mission critical and should be domestically written, or as a minimum it should be provided only by programmers in countries friendly to the U.S.,” he added.

The Coast Guard plans to install the tool in over 1,000 iPad devices in a span of four years to provide critical support to aviation operations, including navigational charts, arrival and departure instructions, and approach procedures.

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