Computer systems aboard British Royal Navy warships get a virus

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A few weeks ago, we read about how the British Royal Navy would be installing Windows XP on some of its submarines. Oh boy, did we all share some laughs! "Control-Alt-Drown," said one commenter; "Beware the blue cruise missile of death!" said another. We ROFL’d and LOL’d all the live-long day.

Well in a somewhat related story, it appears that computers aboard a handful of the British Royal Navy’s warships actually contracted a virus that cut off e-mail and internet access.

Thankfully the run-of-the-mill systems for accessing the internet aren’t tied into similar systems used for strategic commands and operations, according to The Register.

A spokesperson for Britain’s Ministry of Defence released the following statement:

"Since 6 Jan 09 the performance of the MOD IT systems in a number of areas was affected by a virus. Immediate action was taken to isolate the problem to stop the virus from spreading. This meant that some people were without regular IT access (i.e. email, internet). There have been no infections detected on any networks with sensitive information.

A solution to prevent re-infection has been tested and implemented. The majority of systems are working normally. This is an ongoing process which we are working urgently on so for those people who are still off line normal business will resume as quickly as possible."

The system in question is called NavyStar and is supplied to the British Royal Navy by Fujitsu.

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