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UK’s doomsday subs rely on Windows XP

by on25 January 2016

40 nuclear warheads under the control of ancient OS

While most of the world would be insane to rely on Windows XP to provide them with security, the UKs 40 nuclear weapons are dependent on the ancient OS.

Britain four missile submarines, HMS Vanguard, Victorious, Vigilant, and Vengeance were commissioned in the 1990s. According to The Guardian, Windows XP was installed because it was "cheaper than alternatives."

But when Redmond ended security updates for Windows XP in 2014 the Vanguard submarines could be vulnerable to viruses, malware, and cyberattacks. To be fair the Brits are not the only ones to be vulnerable to cyber-attack.

The US Navy also still runs Windows XP, but it is paying for extra security and updates while it transitions to more modern operating systems.

The Guardian makes no mention of the Royal Navy cutting a similar deal, but it is likely – the UK's Ministry of Defence only insisting the submarines are "safe and secure."

Still it is a little worrying. It might be jolly difficult to hack one of these subs underwater but if they were in port, it might be a bit easier.

Last modified on 25 January 2016
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