Windows for Warships....
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 20

Thread: Windows for Warships....

  1. #1
    Senior Member Aardpsymon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    St Annes (aaaa!)
    Posts
    434

    Windows for Warships....

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/02..._boxes_at_sea/

    just to save clicking...here is the gist of the article.

    The Type 45 destroyers now being launched will run Windows for Warships: and that's not all. The attack submarine Torbay has been retrofitted with Microsoft-based command systems, and as time goes by the rest of the British submarine fleet will get the same treatment, including the Vanguard class (V class).
    Now, not going to go all "Linux for warships!" last thing we need is another OS holy war.

    But it is true that there are more viruses written for windows than linux and mac.

    Personal preference - warships should have a custom OS to make it difficult/impossible to be infected with a standard virus.

    And I thought walking past cash machines and seeing a start menu for windows 2k was worrying, now not only can any skiddie go for my cash, they can launch cruise missiles at my house?

    TODO:
    • carry on doing my best not to do any work today.
    • buy nuclear bunker.
    • buy milk.

  2. #2
    Senior Member gore's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    7,177
    I read something about this like 2 years ago. Go Linux all you want, it would make more sense considering that if it's the same thing I was reading, the people on that ship were all used to UNIX already anyway....

    Maybe some good can come of this, the ship could go nuts and blow up a few ben sherman shops. I don't want anyone being hurt or killed but if for some reason the ship went nuts one night while everyone in the building was gone and it took out the whole thing I can't say I wouldn't laugh myself into convulsions.

    Heh, next stop could be Fred perry production shops (it's a shame to see good people's names put on such crap clothing and wear these days).

    Feuer Frei!

  3. #3
    Disgruntled Postal Worker fourdc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Vermont, USA
    Posts
    797
    After serving on those gray bastards, I can't imagine fully automating them.

    Need to have someone watching the "switch", a person has to be held accountable.

    Lets say you had a destroyer steaming at 30 knots and the computers lock up, the boat doesn't just stop because the controller quit. You'd have to have some backup navigation and propulsion control.

    At 1 knot a destroyer will eat 20 feet of a concrete pier.
    ddddc

    "Somehow saying I told you so just doesn't cover it" Will Smith in I, Robot

  4. #4
    The ******* Shadow dalek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    1,564
    Quote Originally Posted by fourdc
    Need to have someone watching the "switch", a person has to be held accountable.
    There will always be manual overides for most equipment where Hydraulics are a concern (tiller, planes etc) same with the engines and weapon systems, they all come with a big "off" button...

    I think most of the uses this will have will be in the realm of internal system control, for valve's, for the fueling and ballast as well as fire fighting control, I would say the main computers for Fire Control will still be down to MOD specs so the weapons systems and Radar and Sonar will be protected from outside influences, won't be like all of the operators will now be able to surf for pr0n while guiding that harpoon towards the target....
    PC Registered user # 2,336,789,457...

    "When the water reaches the upper level, follow the rats."
    Claude Swanson

  5. #5
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    United Kingdom: Bridlington
    Posts
    17,190
    A trifle misleading IMO. Using a Windows based system is not the same as running full blown commercial Windows.

    This will be a locked down system where the operators will have nothing better than a dumb terminal to use. It will also be an entirely enclosed (secure) system that does not contact outside of the ship or with anything else that does.

    Govan shipyard huh?...............well I know why they didn't chose Win 3.11........... I "liberated" their last copy in 1999 (Y2K support for legacy systems).............I did leave plenty of NT 4.0 "coasters" though........... they must have used those on something else

    The military do tend to prefer older technology as it happens, mainly because it is proven and reliable.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Aardpsymon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    St Annes (aaaa!)
    Posts
    434
    Well, I must admit the original article states a few problems, something about the gps jumping 10 miles causing near infinate speeds to register, however most of that kind of problems can hardly be laid at windows feet.

    Having had a bit longer to think on it, my two main concerns would be what users would do to open the system back up again and the reliability of windows for long up-times.

    The former is hopefully minimal, military training and all. The later...well, if they do only have 30s to spot the incoming missiles and a windows system takes say 3 minutes to reboot you have a problem. Yes, its hardly predictable without malware intervention, but it only needs to go wrong once. As part of my course I was told a story about bad code in the early patriot missile systems that needed the system to be rebooted every 24hrs because after 48-72 it stopped scanning correctly, missing enemies and shooting friendlies. Trouble is, often they WEREN'T rebooted on schedule. Yes, in the end it was a known problem and so down to user error but...if a system becomes unstable after time and needs a scheduled reboot, there is your vulnerability. Find out when they do the reboot and attack then.

    Or what if it locks up and does what my soundcard seems to do after a lock up - repeat the current buffer over and over. If that buffer includes "fire missile" you could be out of ammo in seconds, again a vulnerability.

    as the patriot story suggests, it happens even to dedicated systems never mind windows but a dedicated system is easier to debug than a dedicated system running on top of windows.

  7. #7
    The ******* Shadow dalek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    1,564
    Believe it or not () the military are very anal retentive when it comes to systems, most of the western militaries will have numerous checks and balances, they will put these systems through their paces during downtime or when conducting exercises, they will have a systematic checklist (just like pilots when doing a check of the aircraft prior to getting in and turning the key), some processes will be long and painful, but overall with their "daily" maintenance of critical systems, not a lot can go wrong, otherwise we would be hearing of wayward Tomahawks and Harpoons landing in Malibu by now.

    As to opening up terminals/consoles, most of these are repaired at 2nd line or 3rd line repair facilities, and I am sure they carry enough spares to get them through the deployment as they prepare for everything as well as they can. Onboard techs may only be qualified for 1st line repair as I am sure the majority of resources are land based and so they won't have access to any.

    Every system sold to the military has bugs, but I would hazard a guess and say that the QA for items built to Military Specs are a tad bit more robust then say WInXP Home version...(Complete libraries on all things related to military specs, right down to the right kind of wheelnuts required by Humvees IAW Military Specs)
    PC Registered user # 2,336,789,457...

    "When the water reaches the upper level, follow the rats."
    Claude Swanson

  8. #8
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    United Kingdom: Bridlington
    Posts
    17,190
    Yes DALEK, that is my experience of the armaments industry. The fire control (weapons) systems tend to be independent so the ship can still fight, having suffered battle damage.

    GPS out of synch................. hmm I have several instances of Win 2000, but none of them shipped with GPS

    It may come as a surprise but a lot of relatively modern combat aircraft still use 80286 technology.............. it is small, lightweight, cool and reliable............ I have to be a bit careful......... Official Secrets Act and all that
    Last edited by nihil; March 1st, 2007 at 09:32 PM.

  9. #9
    Dissident 4dm1n brokencrow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Shawnee country
    Posts
    1,243
    Quote Originally Posted by Aardpsymon
    ...a dedicated system is easier to debug than a dedicated system running on top of windows.
    Tell that to the US Post Office where they run Linux to sort the mail.
    Even my mailman complains bitterly about the job it does. I don't think
    it'll ever get fixed.

    And as for legacy systems, is NASA still running 086 chips in the Shuttle?
    Where are they getting them now that the supply on eBay dried up a
    few years back?
    “Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.” — Will Rogers

  10. #10
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    United Kingdom: Bridlington
    Posts
    17,190
    Hey, brokencrow, I have loads of them

    If they want them they make them................they don't buy them from bloody China.......... trust me

Similar Threads

  1. May 06 security patches
    By mohaughn in forum Microsoft Security Discussions
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: May 13th, 2006, 11:17 PM
  2. Replies: 6
    Last Post: October 5th, 2004, 09:26 AM
  3. --installing Windows 2000 Server--
    By Cybr1d in forum Other Tutorials Forum
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: February 6th, 2004, 09:30 PM
  4. Windows 2003 Server Vulnerability
    By warl0ck7 in forum Microsoft Security Discussions
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: August 14th, 2003, 01:23 PM
  5. OS History and other info.
    By Remote_Access_ in forum Security Archives
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: January 12th, 2002, 03:02 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •