HMS Queen Elizabeth could be vulnerable to cyber-attack

Royal Navy £3.5bn carrier appears to be running Windows XP, the operating system targeted in NHS ransomware attack

Britain’s new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, which has left the Rosyth dockyard, could be vulnerable to a cyber-attack as it appears to be using the same outdated system that left the NHS exposed.

But officers aboard the £3.5bn carrier, which is the biggest and most powerful vessel ever built for the Royal Navy, insist that they are well prepared to defend against such attacks and will have a team of cyber specialists on board.

During a tour of the carrier, screens were spotted using what appeared to be the outdated 2001 Windows XP operating system. That OS was targeted by the WannaCry ransomware attack in May that disrupted parts of the NHS and other companies worldwide. Parliament came under cyber-attack on Friday with the accounts of about 90 MPs hacked.

Questions have also been raised about the vulnerability of the UK’s new Trident nuclear submarine system, though the Ministry of Defence insists that submarines are isolated when at sea.

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