PC virus attacks UK Royal Air Force and Royal Navy

“A computer virus has attacked the Royal Navy’s communications network, knocking out e-mails and the internet,” BBC News reports.

“HMS Ark Royal, which left Portsmouth for Liverpool on Monday, was still without the system on Thursday,” The Beeb reports. “An MoD spokesman said the weapons and navigational systems were unaffected by the computer virus. He said personnel were able to use ‘welfare phone systems’ to contact family but would not comment on reports that 75% of the fleet was affected.”

MacDailyNews Take: In the U.S. “welfare phone systems” are branded “Motorola.”

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Jeremy Kirk reports for IDG News Service, “The virus infected computers throughout the military, including those used by the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, and is one of the most severe attacks the organization has ever faced, according to a Ministry of Defence spokeswoman.”

“Efforts to contain and clean up the virus have resulted in widespread shutdown of systems, but the ministry declined to say how many machines in total are affected,” Kirk reports.

“Due to security reasons, the type of virus has not been publicly released, the spokeswoman said. However, the computer security community has been grappling lately with the Conficker worm, which targets a flaw in Windows Service Server, a component in Microsoft’s Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Server 2003 and Server 2008 products,” Kirk reports. “Microsoft issued an emergency patch for the problem on Oct. 23, but security companies have said businesses have been hit hard by Conficker.”

Full article here.

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