Virus Hits Royal Navy Warships: Updated

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The UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) confirmed inquiries made by the website The Register that since the 6th of January 2009, "the performance of the MOD IT systems in a number of areas was affected by a virus... 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."

The Register's story says that the virus is affecting Royal Navy warships like the carrier HMS Ark Royal.

"The Navy computers infected are the NavyStar (N*) system, based on a server cabinet and cable-networked PCs on each warship and used for purposes such as storekeeping, email and similar support functions. N* ship nets connect to wider networks by shore connection when vessels are in harbour and using satcomms when at sea," says the story.

The N* system, which is built by Fujitsu, is to come under the Defence Information Infrastructure which is currently late and over-budget.

The Register story notes that, "The MoD refused to discuss details of the virus, transmission methods, countermeasures or other specifics of the incident 'for security reasons'."

Update:

The Sunday Times has a story today that claims the virus has infected Royal Air Force systems, and that "all e-mail traffic from a number of RAF stations has been sent to a Russian internet server."

"The RAF stations affected included those from which fighter aircraft have been scrambled to counter Russian bombers testing British air defences," the story adds.

In addition, the Times quotes RAF sources that say that the virus â'' 'originated from the former eastern bloc' â'' and said forces security experts were surprised at its sophistication.'

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