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290 comments

B-5 (5, Funny)

Grinfell (901482) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479463)

Somebody sunk their Battleship.

Re:B-5 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26480081)

Lol, the sea battles of tomorrow :)

Switching to Windows (4, Informative)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479471)

Wasn't it big news about a year ago that the UK Navy were switching to Windows?

Yeah, here it is:

http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08%2F12%2F18%2F006226&from=rss [slashdot.org]

Slashdot article from December 18 2008

Re:Switching to Windows (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26479477)

A year is roughly 29 days long now?

Re:Switching to Windows (4, Funny)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479567)

At least this isn't January 2000, or those 29 days would have been a whole millenium.

Re:Switching to Windows (3, Informative)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479677)

Hah, no. The millennium started in January, 2001.

Re:Switching to Windows (-1)

tenco (773732) | more than 5 years ago | (#26480129)

Let me ask you a question: if someone was born on 01.01.0 how old would he/she get at the 01.01.2000?

Re:Switching to Windows (5, Informative)

Dark_Gravity (872049) | more than 5 years ago | (#26480171)

Let me ask you a question: if someone was born on 01.01.0 how old would he/she get at the 01.01.2000?

There is no such person. There is no year zero.

Re:Switching to Windows (5, Funny)

2Bits (167227) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479839)

Well, when you are living in a window-less basement^^^ er, I mean, your command center, 29 days seems like a whole year :)

Re:Switching to Windows (5, Funny)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479851)

Maybe the Norton 30-day trial has expired.

Re:Switching to Windows (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26480027)

Why mod parent "Funny"? It could easily be "Insightful"!

Maybe the Norton 30-day trial has expired.

Re:Switching to Windows (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479959)

I hear that depends on which ship you're serving on. Some of them have these crazy computer systems, and they can't work out what's wrong.

Re:Switching to Windows (1, Redundant)

lord_rob the only on (859100) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479493)

December 18 2008 is last year but is not even a month ago :)

Re:Switching to Windows (4, Insightful)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479845)

And when that topic came up on slashdot I questioned the wisdom running windows on military hardware for security reasons and was laughed at since people took they view that this is the military, they're not going to network the boxes, they have more sense, it's not like they'd be connected to the net! god no!
Well now I claim the right of "I told you so!"

Re:Switching to Windows (5, Interesting)

pejyel (1275304) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479565)

And it took hardly a month till they got infected...
FTA:

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.

Re:Switching to Windows (5, Funny)

davester666 (731373) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479709)

Too bad for the UK Defense department. It's just over the 7 day return policy for ordering goods over the internet, so they can't return Windows for a refund.

Re:Switching to Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26479573)

Don't you just love when total idiots are operating weapon systems worth of hundreds of millions of tax payer dollars? (pounds, yens, pesetas...)

Windoze is so easy... for viruses to penetrate.

Re:Switching to Windows (4, Insightful)

cgenman (325138) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479857)

They mention an e-mail system, so I wouldn't be surprised if they were running Exchange. For some reason, people seem to have trouble realizing that IMAP does basically everything that Exchange does, but with complete compatibility and reduced risk.

Re:Switching to Windows (5, Insightful)

pejyel (1275304) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479589)

Actually the article you're linking to only refers to the nuclear submarines
and the article doesn't tell whether this infection affected them as well.

Still, I hope this gives second thoughts to any people in charge
who considering to "spare money" by installing Windows on such sensitive systems...

Re:Switching to Windows (1, Informative)

KingMotley (944240) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479797)

If you read the article, you'd notice that the systems that were affected were the NavyStar email/internet servers. NavyStar servers are UNIX (HP NonStop G06) based, not Windows based. Also you should note that the mission critical systems (Like the Windows on Warships networks) were NOT affected.

Please troll somewhere else. Or at least condemn the security of *nix based systems.

Re:Switching to Windows (5, Insightful)

dominique_cimafranca (978645) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479979)

I beg to disagree. A search of publicly available documents shows that NavyStar has Windows and DOS components. Fujitsu's ITSEC certification report (No. P230) [cesg.gov.uk], in particular, shows Windows XP, Windows XPe, and DOS clients. See diagram on page 10.

Also, the article doesn't say that the servers were hit. Only that the system was based on a server cabinet and cable-networked PCs. As I understand it, NavyStar is a hardware platform of ruggedized PC components.

Re:Switching to Windows (2, Funny)

pmontra (738736) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479597)

Noting that a new season of Battlestar Galactica premieres today the guys that decided to run the Royal Navy on Windows will say that's not their fault: it's an attack of the Cylons! They have a far superior technology and no existing antivirus could defend the ships.

Ok, to be fair to the RN they're such an important target that an attacker would write a virus for any OS they run on, Linux, OSX, anything. However the network should have been protected. No USB drives, no connections with the outside, etc.

Yes I know, the Cylons have other ways to get into the networks (usually nice looking blondes - Cylons are so unimaginative...) and maybe that's what happened.

Re:Switching to Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26479715)

Noting that a new season of Battlestar Galactica premieres today...it's an attack of the Cylons!...Yes I know, the Cylons have other ways to get into the networks (usually nice looking blondes - Cylons...

You definitely have waited enough! Now, go have your medicine tonight! I have to wait for the DVD. (snif)

Re:Switching to Windows (2)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479761)

Ok, to be fair to the RN they're such an important target that an attacker would write a virus for any OS they run on, Linux, OSX, anything. However the network should have been protected. No USB drives, no connections with the outside, etc.

Once again, you need two things to be able to write a virus :
- resources
- a flaw that allows it to infect the PC and spread to others

There exist people with resources willing to make virus for such systems. That is true for any army in the world. That is why armies usually tend to be paranoiac about the flaws they could introduce in their systems. Spending billions and an army of hackers won't be able to create a flaw in a secure system. It is simply true that flaws are more common and less efficiently patched in Microsoft products than in any other.

I would also like to point out that the virus allegedly did just disrupt some minor functionality (email, intranet access) for a few days in a non critical period. I doubt it was specifically tailored for this attack. It really looks like they caught a common virus.

Re:Switching to Windows (3, Funny)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 5 years ago | (#26480063)

It is simply true that flaws are more common and less efficiently patched in Microsoft products than in any other.

Evidence ?

Re:Switching to Windows (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26480159)

http://adminfoo.net/2007/03/os-vulnerabilities-compared.html [adminfoo.net]

Oh, I know, it is a blog, not a reputed tech journalist, so you need a grain of salt. Well, here is the methodology :

1. Install the OS as default-ly as possible. Scan it with nmap and Nessus during the installation. (for the chart, he ignored this) 2. At completion of installation, scan again. 3. Install relatively common listening services and scan again. 4. Install the latest 'major patch', and scan again. 5. Finally install all 'minor patches' published prior to Jan 1 2007, and scan again.

The chart [blogspot.com] is quite interesting. FreeBSD, as the popular wisdom says, shows 0 vulnerabilities. All Linux default installs show zero vulns as well. When some services are activated, they tend to show less vulnerabilities.

Re:Switching to Windows (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479741)

actually they haven't switched yet, so using your kind of reasoning this justifies their choice.

Re:Switching to Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26480003)

The linked article states the the Royal Navy is "ahead of schedule" (i.e. not yet finished) for the switch on board nuclear submarines, wheras the virus apparently spread to "Royal Navy Warships" (i.e. not submarines)

Not to mention theat the virus affected admin networks, wheras "Windows for Submarines" is referring to the instalation of windows on Command Networks (which I have to assume are physically separate)

Sorry to burst your bubble of wild speculation, but if you read the articles the two appear to be fairly unrelated :-)

LSE, Healthcare, Navy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26480067)

first went down to prevent the Brits from making money on the day of the announcement of $700bn package

google "lse sql server sjvn"

Now the Navy!

Micro$oft! Way to go!
Darth Sidious to Count Dooku:
"Healthcare?"
"Done."

"Stock Exchange?"
"Done."

"Navy?"
"Done."

"Haw Haw Haw. Good work...."

Has Brown outsourced the Grand Orwellian Screwup to M$ or is US planning something?

Re:Switching to Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26480135)

If you'd bother to RTFA, you'd realise that SMCS-NC runs on a sub and not on the ships affected. It also plainly states that none of the Command Systems were affected.

But then again, why bother to RTFA when you can make a quick-and-ill-informed Windows-bashing post and get modded +5 for informative (it may be informative but it's totally irrelevant) by the /. pro-linux crowd?

What happened to *nix ? (5, Insightful)

Sapdot (1408293) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479481)

I'm surprised something as crucial as Defence systems are running a version of Windows.

Re:What happened to *nix ? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26479507)

If defense systems weren't running on Windows, how would security personnel inconspicuously play solitaire?

Re:What happened to *nix ? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26480065)

Well, they play solitaire so they can hide the p0rn they are streaming.

That's probably what got them, someone on the network looking for and distributing p0rn.

Re:What happened to *nix ? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26479575)

Me too. However its the email system which went down. Sailors are pissed (I live in Portsmouth and there was a bit about it in the local newspaper). Navigation and command systems were not affected as they live on physically separate networks.

Re:What happened to *nix ? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26479667)

well, hasn't windows struggled to be marketed as posix compliant exactly for this?

Re:What happened to *nix ? (4, Funny)

should_be_linear (779431) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479731)

As insider I can confirm system was fully 24/7 reliability certified, even shielded for smooth operation under nuclear attack. But then 1-year-free AVG licence ended.

Re:What happened to *nix ? (3, Interesting)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479777)

You would be surprised to know that some crucial IT decisions in the MOD are taken by humans that can be competent soldiers but incompetent IT technicians. Or, simply, bribery-open people close to retirement.

Re:What happened to *nix ? (-1, Offtopic)

jimmypw (895344) | more than 5 years ago | (#26480115)

Im supprised that something that controls nuclear warheads is connected to the public internet regardless of the operating system.

Appropriate enough (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26479487)

All your base are belong to "someone other than yourselves"

Re:Appropriate enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26479619)

It's still too soon.

+3 Funny to the guy who posts the link explaining the joke.

Viral infection? (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479497)

It would be much more newsworthy if it was a bacterial infection.

A warship-eating bacteria.

You could so do a Steven Seagal movie with that premise.

Re:Viral infection? (1)

thomthom (832970) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479679)

Steven Seagal? pffth! Come one, we want Chuck Norris!

Re:Viral infection? (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 5 years ago | (#26480005)

I'll go one better - Steven Seagal versus Chuck Norris.

There. Dear MPAA, Make me that film and I'll start buying cinema tickets.

Re:Viral infection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26479759)

I'm sure that there is a film that an alien lifeforce comes all the way from pluto(whatever) to say hi, turns out, it starts to infect the ships computer systems and turning them into it's body, the ship as the body, the computer system as the mind, then all the people on board have to fight for their lives, etc, etc. no joke, but I can't remember the name now.

Re:Viral infection? (1)

MarkRose (820682) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479929)

Like in TNG espisode #34 where an organism eats the hulls of the USS Enterprise and the IKS Pagh? Who knew they were still using windows in the 24th century!

if a virus can do that... (1)

crazybit (918023) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479505)

it means a true l33t cracker could easily start World War III?

Re:if a virus can do that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26479545)

It means that a true l33t cracker can own their battlecruisers.

That is not the way of the l33t!!! (0, Offtopic)

Klootzak (824076) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479621)

it means a true l33t cracker could easily start World War III?

A true l33t cracker would NEVER engage an enemy with something as petty as violence or death...

He or She would realize that only escalates and encourages fear, he or she would engage the world with words.

One of the worlds most admirable and effective [wikipedia.org] Social Engineers said: "There are many causes that I am prepared to die for but no causes that I am prepared to kill for."

Schadenfreude (4, Funny)

MadMidnightBomber (894759) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479513)

I'm not currently allowed to do security-cleared work in UK, because I've just spent several years living in that hotbed of communism and espionage, New Zealand. Pity the MoD don't take such a rigorous approach to basic IT competence.

Re:Schadenfreude (4, Funny)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479739)

Agreed. Anyone who happened to work at Redmond for an extended period of time should be denied any IT job in a critical structure.

Virus? in such a critical environment? (-1, Troll)

Roland Piquepaille (780675) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479517)

Military computers and warfare hardware running virus-prone software (from you-know-whom no doubt) is like a weight lifting champion with multiple sclerosis: most of the time he looks mighty and even wins competitions, but don't be surprised if he collapses and crushes his neck with the barbell at an awkward moment.

In short: it's not reliable, don't do it.

Re:Virus? in such a critical environment? (4, Funny)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479549)

Exactly. I'm surprise those computers got infected with Windows in the first place. Usually it takes a CD to spread that virus.

troll (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26479553)

now that everyone knows this account is fake, could you stop using it?

at least to show some respect to the man who passed away so recently

Re:troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26480001)

Too much caffeine?

Re:Virus? in such a critical environment? (1, Troll)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479773)

no where did it say it was windows, in fact it says the mail servers were supplied by Fujitsu so it's most likely linux. so all you retards crowing about windows being insecure should eat your words.

pfah (5, Funny)

amnezick (1253408) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479527)

Of course they went to Windows:
Clicking Torpedo and then the enemy's battleship on a screen is much more efficient than typing
"attack --weapon torpedo --count 2 --coords 42394799879x3179478912"
and then waiting for the result in
"tail -f /var/log/messages"

Re:pfah (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26479631)

You jest but most of the old command systems did (and still do) use the command line. Trackerball input was done using a special key.

Re:pfah (5, Funny)

francium de neobie (590783) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479635)

But then why don't they switch to the iPhone?

Surely touching the torpedo and then touching the enemy's battleship is even easier than clicking? Even a kid can do it.

Re:pfah (5, Funny)

MarkRose (820682) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479651)

It looks like 'attack' uses GNU-style command line switches. Do you know if the source code is available?

Sincerely,
Ministry of Defence.

Re:pfah (1)

NCG_Mike (905098) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479789)

You can use my "bomb" program. It has command line completion: bomb bel^t will bomb belgrade... Nooo! It's selected belgium!

Would you like some help? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26479703)

Too... many... Clippy... jokes. Must not regurgitate... tired Slashdot... meme.

Re:pfah (3, Funny)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479829)

Ah, but we Linux users are all peace-loving Communist hippies without the knowledge to write efficient programs for warmongering.

ITV news last night... (5, Informative)

martin (1336) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479551)

ITV News [itv.com] was stating it was also effecting 6 RAF admin bases as well and they outbreak has been running since well before Christmas. All of this hear-say as the MOD (rightly IMHO) are keeping alot of this info to themselves.

Also no signs of how the malware got into the systems, accidently or a deliverate 'attack'.

given the time to clear up and the large number of systems it's compromised it's a little worrying to the least.

Brave New World (5, Funny)

tcolberg (998885) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479609)

Wow, it really must be the 21st century. For millennia, when navies had problems with viruses, it was the sailors being a little too loose while on shore leave. Today, the ships are the ones getting infected due to open ports.

Is Fujitsu not to be held accountable (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26479643)

I find this quite funny, 29 days into migration (rollout included) and the poor machines are already infected.

What is not so funny is that the MoD people are such muppets for taking that sort of decision on such critical systems!

Still a question remains. If the contract was given to Fujitsu should they not be held accountable as well, along with the MoD ?

Re:Is Fujitsu not to be held accountable (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26479701)

If the contract was given to Fujitsu should they not be held accountable as well

If we give Fujitsu the sack, we would still have to pay them. So we might as well let them sort out the mess. The alternative is to scrap the system and tender new contracts, where the only bidder would be Fujitsu.

And the next time any moronic civil servants think of some dumb-ass IT scheme, Fujitsu will probably be awarded the contract. Again.

Re:Is Fujitsu not to be held accountable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26479937)

Since I know 1st hand how moronic Fujitsu Services are I have to say that sounds like a brilliant plan ...

Maybe Fujitsu should have run against Obama for the presidency. Surely they would eventually (next millenium) manage to solve the credit crunch crisis through non-stop rain-dancing

If they'd watched BSG they'd have known better (5, Funny)

drewish_princess (22098) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479649)

Admiral Adama never would have let that happen on his ship.

Re:If they'd watched BSG they'd have known better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26479905)

yeah cylon attack on the way

Mod and thin-foil hats (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26479729)

If the MoD needs to cut expenses by using standard PC components rather than custom hardware, should they not be using FreeBSD, OpenBSD or some esoteric form of *nix installed on encrypted hdds with with hardened FS ACLs, properly defined jails and allowing only dual layer VPNs over IPSec ?

Maybe they are relying on the power of the thin-foil hat ...

   

Black Tot Day, 1970 (5, Funny)

Kirth (183) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479743)

Well, its blindingly obvious that the Royal Navy is worth zilch and run by nincompoops and incompetents since July 31st 1970, 6 bells of the forenoon watch. That was when the last rum ration was issued.

So the move to use Microsoft Windows and the subsequent(and consequent) series of disasters associated with such an abysmal piece of software does not strike on as "odd" with the same rear-admirals (which probably carry the word "rear-" in front of their title in order to find their posteriors) who had risen up their ranks without their daily rum ration.

It should have been clear in 1970 that the Navy which ruled the waves for 200 years wouldn't take something like having their rum taken away lightly; and that most probably their best sailors and officers would turn away in disgust of such a move, leaving only the incompetent and spineless to run and ruin the Navy. And in recent times, leaving a software company from the USA to ruin the Navy. Perhaps they realised the case was hopeless and retired to a half-pay life of binge-drinking; at least they could have their rum on shore, to drown their shame in.

Such a sad state.

Re:Black Tot Day, 1970 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26479799)

Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy and
the lash.
                                -- Winston Churchill

Re:Black Tot Day, 1970 (4, Funny)

u38cg (607297) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479843)

I'm looking at this post, five mod points ready to go, and I really have no idea what I should rate this. I've solved the problem by replying instead. Well played, Cap'n.

Re:Black Tot Day, 1970 (1)

darinfp (907671) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479961)

When WILL /. listen and give us that "+1 lack of rum" mod we so desperately need. I know I could have used it a few times in the stories about the Jobs deity.

Windows is the right os for the war machines (0, Troll)

viljun (1267170) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479763)

Windows is the right os for the war ships. It's good if there's problems with weapons & other war stuff. It gives them bad image and maybe there'll be a little less weapons & funding then.

And if we don't count what happens in movies, it's rare computer bugs kills civilians. Mechanical failures are a different thing:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8J5PWIgRSOM [youtube.com]

deja vu (3, Interesting)

lililalancia (752496) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479817)

I was at a Linux Worldexpo in London several years ago when someone from the audience piped up about Windows on warships during the Great Linux Debate dinnertime session. I think he was a journalist from a Computing publication, but this was exactly the scenario he painted back then.

Scurvy (2, Funny)

sepelester (794828) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479885)

Ever wish your computer was as secure as a battleship? Now it is.

Since the britons installed Windows, every sunday, late at night, pirates in the Irish sea have remoted their ships to a buccaneer's den on the Isle of Man.

Did they do it on purpose as a test? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26479955)

Is it beyond credulity that this is a test-scenario implemented on a boat at sea to see how a disruption might manifest itself?

Re:Did they do it on purpose as a test? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26480097)

Yes

Hardly surprising.. (3, Funny)

Drasil (580067) | more than 5 years ago | (#26479975)

Just look [youtube.com] at the guy doing their IT. "Sometimes I just switch it off and on again, heh heh." Sounds like Windows to me.

operational issues (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26479993)

they can no longer clear shipping lanes, since they lost the minesweeper app

Adama would disapprove (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26480023)

Didn't we learn from Battlestar Galactica not to network computers on a warship? God help us if Britain is invaded by Cylons...
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