Warship not vulnerable to cyber attack, Defence Secretary insists

Updated: 

Britain's most powerful warship is not vulnerable to a cyber attack, the Defence Secretary has insisted, after fears were raised about its software.

HMS Queen Elizabeth, the 280-metre, 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier that set sail for the first time on Monday, has computers running the same operating system that was hit by a cyber attack in May, The Times disclosed.

It found a computer in the control room was using Windows XP, an outdated system Microsoft no longer runs security updates on.

But Sir Michael Fallon insisted the security around the computer software on the aircraft carrier is "properly protected".

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "It's not the system itself, of course, that's vulnerable, it's the security that surrounds it.

"I want to reassure you about Queen Elizabeth, the security around its computer system is properly protected and we don't have any vulnerability on that particular score."

The largest and most powerful ship ever built for the Royal Navy is preparing to leave her home port for the first time.

The £3 billion aircraft carrier, which is set to be the nation's future flagship, and her 700-strong ship's company, are ready to undertake her maiden sea trials over the summer.