The WannaCry ransomware has taken the world of computers by storm. Computers running on the older Windows XP were hit hard, risking Gigabytes of data to unknown hackers. Now, it seems that the famous ransomware is looking British submarines and infect their computer systems.
According to DailyStar, the Trident submarines in the British Navy are running on Windows XP-based computers and are vulnerable to the WannaCry ransomware infection. The submarines won’t get any upgrade to newer OS anytime soon.
Authorities deny the news, stating that the submarines are completely safe from any viral ransomware. Moreover, when the submarines are out on the seas, they are not connected to the internet, thus removing any chance of the infection. But the question stands unanswered for those times when the submarines are docked at the ports.
It is true to say the subs are cyber-resilient when they are out at sea because they are not connected to the internet. But in port they are vulnerable and that is when an attack could come,” said Sebastian Jesson-Ward from cyber-security specialists Serviceteam IT. “The nightmare scenario would be for cyber-criminals to infect the system in port and the bug not be detected until the submarine was back out at sea and operational,” he added.
Last year, a Trident submarine was reported to deviate massively from its course and accidentally fire a non-nuclear missile, with the experts pointing fingers at the outdated software that the lethal submarine operates on. Britain’s Trident programme consists of four Vanguard-class submarines deployed by the Navy for patrolling.
“We never comment on the different systems, for reasons of security that our submarines use. Our Vanguard submarines are safe and operate in isolation when they are out on patrol and we have complete confidence in our nuclear deterrent,” Defence Secretary Michael Fallon commented on the issue.