Mystery computer virus brings down Royal Navy email systems

Graham Cluley

According to media reports, the British Ministry of Defence has confirmed that computer systems on board ships in the Royal Navy Fleet have been severely disrupted by a computer virus outbreak.

The Royal Navy has been understandably keen to stress that weaponry and navigation systems have not been affected by the outbreak.

Reports from Portsmouth, the home town of the navy’s flagship HMS Ark Royal, have revealed that the major impact has been felt by sailors unable to communicate via email with their friends and family on shore.

One sailor, who presumably asked the newspaper not to name him in case he was ordered to walk the plank, has described the situation as “utter chaos”.

The Royal Navy gave a statement to…

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Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.