New British aircraft carrier relies on outdated Windows XP

  • Jonáš Vlk
  • 30.6.2017 15:40

On Monday 26 June, a new British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) headed to the sea for the first time, while speculations about its possible vulnerability to cyber attacks surfaced.

The concerns were based on pictures taken on the deck of the ship, which showed computer screens running on the Windows XP, whose sales and technical support ended on 8 April 2014. The absence of updates has made the system vulnerable to the WannaCry ransomware attack last month. The speculations, however, were refuted by the British Navy that stated that the system is only used for calibration and a system check, thus a possible attack can not endanger the operational capacity of the ship. Also, a team of cyber specialists will be placed on the ship to defend it from possible cyber attacks.

The vessel is now waiting for a series of tests after which it will be ready to be handed over to the British Navy by the end of 2017. The first operational deployment is expected in 2020. The ship will be used by both the infantry and the Air Force in addition to the Navy and Marine Corps.

About author: Jonáš Vlk


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