When the Secretary of the Navy is shot, it turns out to be an elaborate ruse by PsyOps and NCIS to draw out a hacker who is blackmailing the Navy into renewing their contract with Philip Wickesâ€™ shipbuilding company, which faces bankruptcy. The NCIS hope that Wickes will be left vulnerable thinking his old friend, the Navy Secretary, was killed, and he will confess to the blackmail. While Samantha Ryan works with Gibbs to interrogate Wickes, the rest of the team becomes aware of their attraction. Meanwhile, with the hacker releasing files from the Navyâ€™s research lab, AUTEC, Wickes reveals that former employee Lawrence Ridgeway had a connection to AUTEC, but the man is killed before NCIS can question him. The team eventually tracks down the hacker, who was hired to steal $300 million from a government account in Ridgewayâ€™s name; it turns out Ridgeway was the actual target, the AUTEC blackmail just a distraction. In the end, Wickes helps expose the real culprit: his half-brother, who hired the hacker and shot Ridgeway in order to save the family company from going under.