The following is probably quite a scary sentence if you’re several miles up and outside the Earth’s atmosphere: “A computer virus has made it’s way on to the International Space Station”. That’s right – up in space, where no one can hear you scream and where there are no rescue missions, there’s a virus threatening to wreak havoc.
Luckily though, rather than the virus, known as Gammima.AG, take control of the space station’s life-support computers and hold the astronauts to ransom it has only infected one laptop on board that was being used to send e-mail back home and run “nutritional programs”.
NASA has admitted that it has broken the first rule of internet security, and didn’t have a virus scanner installed because all ISS internet traffic is scanned at NASA HQ before being beamed up – they reckon the virus arrived via a USB memory drive that one of the astronauts took with them.
And the astronauts will no doubt be relieved to learn that the virus itself is relatively benign – all it is written to do is steal usernames and passwords for certain online games. So if any of the crew happen to be a level 60 Mage too, then pointing the finger of blame should be pretty easy.
(via BBC News)