The electronics of a yacht belonging to a Chinese billionaire was hacked this past July as the billionaire cruised the Hudson River, near New York City. After investigating the attack on his yacht, the attack has been traced back to China.
Guo Wengui, a Chinese billionaire and anti-corruption activist, also goes by the English name Miles Kwok. And he is claiming that his 152-foot yacht, the Lady May, was hacked by the Chinese government in an attempt to intimidate and harass him.
The incident took place in July on the Hudson River, near New York City, the hacking left the ship unable to turn temporarily, and the yacht nearly colliding with a nearby oil freighter.
Guo, who lives in New York and is a real estate developer believes that only a state-sponsored entity could have been behind such a sophisticated cyber-attack. In a statement after the terrifying incident, he said, “I hope to let the American people and government know that through this incident there exists a great and real threat from China … I want every American and law enforcement agency to understand the Chinese government, through using the internet, cell phones, and modern communications technologies, can obtain private correspondence and information from each and every American citizen if it wishes, and can do that very easily almost without any cost.”
He also requested that the U.S. government investigate the incident, so that the truth about the Chinese government can be known to the American people. The FBI responded to his request, and has taken control of the investigation, including a full forensic examination of Wengui’s yacht. When asked to comment however, they declined.
The Chinese billionaire has been a favorite target of the Chinese Communist Party ever since he spoke out in his videos and interviews about the corruption of senior Chinese leaders. Among the names Wangui took, were the names of Wang Qishan, member of Communist Party and powerful Politburo. The accusation of corruption against Quishan were the most explosive since Quishan is the chief enforcer behind Chinese President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign.
The yacht Lady May was built in 2014 by the Dutch manufacturer Feadship Royal Dutch Shipyards and is equipped with the most advanced computerized controls and communications systems that money can buy.
Radio Holland, a company which specializes in the operation of these advanced electronics, later investigated the ship’s electronics and found “several errors that were not normal in the system.”
A system dysfunction involving the ship’s autopilot when placed on a certain configuration restricts the use of steering thrusters. Changes were made in the control system so that such a system error and such a situation in future could be avoided.
The report states that the ship’s controls were hacked by an unknown but sophisticated third party which was able to gain access to the ship’s computer system, possibly using a mobile phone.