Britain's new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth could be vulnerable to cyber attacks

HMS Queen Elizabeth could be vulnerable to cyber attacks

Fears have been raised over the HMS Queen Elizabeth

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Britain's new aircraft carrier is using outdated computer software and could be vulnerable to cyber attack as a result.

According to The Telegraph, control-room computers on board HMS Queen Elizabeth – Britain's largest-ever warship – are using the outdated Microsoft Windows XP.

This is the same software that was targeted by the WannaCry ransomware attack on the NHS earlier this year and is now unsupported, which means Microsoft no longer sends out updates.

HMS Queen Elizabeth has left the Rosyth dockyard to start trials at sea. 

A defence source told The Times that the ship is due to have a refit of computers within 10 years, while senior officers have said that  specialists are to be stationed on the carrier to fight cyber- attacks.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon told Radio 4: "It's not the system itself, of course, that's vulnerable. It's the security that surrounds it.

"I want to reassure you about [HMS] Queen Elizabeth. The security around its computer system is properly protected and we don't have any vulnerability on that particular score."

The ship will sail to Portsmouth during the autumn and planes and helicopter trials take place next year.