OH GOD HELP US, it appears that the massive aircraft carrier known as HMS Queen Elizabeth could be running Windows XP, and therefore might be a huge floating WannaCry target.
The Guardian has been on some sort of tour of the war machine and said that some incidents of Windows XP were spotted. "During a tour of the carrier, screens were spotted using what appeared to be the outdated Windows XP operating system," it reports.
"That OS was targeted by the WannaCry ransomware attack in May that disrupted parts of the NHS and other companies worldwide."
Mark Deller, commander air on HMS Queen Elizabeth, played down the potential problem, saying that the ship and its crew know what they are doing and will be able to react to threats.
"The ship is well designed and there has been a very, very stringent procurement train that has ensured we are less susceptible to cyber than most. With regards to someone wanting to jam my radio frequencies, we will have an escort and destroyers around us that will ward off people who try and impact our output. That's normal routine business at sea," he said.
"We are a very sanitised procurement train. I would say compared to the NHS buying computers off the shelf, I would think we are probably better than that. If you think more Nasa and less NHS you are probably in the right place. If the Chinese want to flood the market with a particular widget and they put £30m into it, one will eventually get through to the defence procurement chain. We have got people looking at stuff like this all the time."
Besides, he added, the ship is going to have some retro features because it has taken two decades to deliver. And anyway, he metaphorically tapped his nose and told the paper that an upgrade may already have happened, but that they were not going to hear it from them.
"When you buy a ship, you don't buy it today, you bought it 20 years ago. So what we put on the shelf and in the spec is probably what was good then. The reality is, we are always designed with spare capacity, so we will always have the ability to modify and upgrade," he added.
"So whatever you see in the pictures, I think you will probably find we will be upgrading to whatever we want to have in due course. It might have already happened but I can't tell you." µ
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