All posts in “Windows Xp”

UK’s largest warship hits the seas with massive security worry: Windows XP

Image: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

The largest the aircraft carrier ever built by the UK’s Royal Navy, the HMS Queen Elizabeth, may be hitting the seas with ancient software: Windows XP.

At least that’s the claim from the Guardian and the Times of the UK. During a tour of the massive ship, reporters claim to have viewed computer screens on the ship running Windows XP, an operating system first released in 2001. That claim is setting off alarm bells for many given the recent hacking attack on the UK’s National Health Service, which was largely given traction due to the use of outdated operating systems being in the hospital system. 

The apparent revelation is even more surprising considering the whopping $4.5 billion cost of the ship. Construction of the ship began back in 2009, but the ship just made its first public test trip on Monday. 

“The ship is well designed … we are less susceptible to cyber than most.”

And while fears of the UK’s most powerful aircraft carrier being vulnerable to attack may be gripping some who are still reeling from the hack attacks earlier this year, Royal Navy officials don’t appear to be concerned. 

“The ship is well designed and there has been a very, very stringent procurement train that has ensured we are less susceptible to cyber than most,” Mark Deller, commander air on the Queen Elizabeth, told the Guardian

“When you buy a ship, you don’t buy it today, you bought it 20 years ago. So what we put on the shelf and in the spec is probably what was good then. The reality is, we are always designed with spare capacity, so we will always have the ability to modify and upgrade. So whatever you see in the pictures, I think you will probably find we will be upgrading to whatever we want to have in due course. It might have already happened but I can’t tell you.”

Commanding Officer Captain Jerry Kyd onboard the HMS Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carrier at Rosyth Dockyard on June 21, 2017.

Commanding Officer Captain Jerry Kyd onboard the HMS Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carrier at Rosyth Dockyard on June 21, 2017.

Image: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

The good news is that any fears regarding the HMS Queen Elizabeth and WannaCry have been put to rest thanks to a patch released by Microsoft back in May. Nevertheless, if the enormous ship does hit the seas running Windows XP, it’s difficult not to imagine that some new threat targeting the outdated operating system might crop up.  

The Royal Navy plans to put the HMS Queen Elizabeth into full operation by the end of this year. 

Https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws.com%2fuploads%2fvideo uploaders%2fdistribution thumb%2fimage%2f80548%2f018ace7c 23f5 48c9 9167 2a6240e68d0f

The dreaded ‘Blue Screen of Death’ helped save some PCs from massive ransomware hack

Lulz.

While the WannaCry ransomware that swept across the world and crippled hundreds of thousands of PCs ransomware last month isn’t really a laughing matter, what is hilarious is how Windows’ infamous, dreaded, face-meltingly awful “Blue Screen of Death“—the error message that appears after a PC’s crashed—managed to prevent computers from being infected.

Contrary to original reports, the majority of computers WannaCry-infected PCs were not in fact running Microsoft’s outdated Windows XP, but actually Windows 7, according to a recent Kaspersky Lab analysis.

Despite Windows XP computers contributing to an “insignificant” percentage of total infected PCs—98% of PCs infected with WannaCry were running some version of Windows 7—the damage could’ve been worse, had it not been for the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD).

According to new research from the cybersecurity experts at Kryptos, installing WannaCry on PCs running Windows XP isn’t as effective as previously believed.

In tests on various versions of Windows, researchers discovered that repeated attempts to infect machines with WannaCry merely caused them to crash (displaying the BSOD) and require a hard reset, instead of encrypting all the computers’ files in return for a ransom.

“To be clear, the Windows XP systems are vulnerable to ETERNALBLUE, but the exploit as implemented in WannaCry does not seem to reliably deploy DOUBLEPULSAR and achieve proper RCE, instead simply hard crashing our test machines,” Kryptos said in a blog post. “The worst case scenario, and likely scenario, is that WannaCry caused many unexplained blue-screen-of-death crashes.”

Windows XP PCs aren’t completely immune to WannaCry (manually installing it will do the trick), but at the very least, the BSOD seems to get in the way of the ransomware doing its job locking up systems.

It’s ironic, that the last thing any PC user wants to see managed to save the day. If you’d asked anyone if there was ever a situation in which they’d want to see the Blue Screen of Death, you’d be hard-pressed to find an answer. Until now.

That said, if you haven’t already updated your PC with the latest security patch, or better yet, to Windows 10, you should definitely consider it. It’s better to not take any chances when it comes to your computer’s security—granted, some users can thank their lucky stars for it, but relying on the Blue Screen of Death isn’t exactly an ideal way to go about securing your computer.

Https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws.com%2fuploads%2fvideo uploaders%2fdistribution thumb%2fimage%2f474%2fd54218df ced6 434f 90b8 565de8d86928