The Kaspersky Labs head Eugene Kaspersky today disclosed that the International Space Station (ISS) has suffered a credible malware infection. The infection has spread like “virus epidemic” in space, Eugene today told the crowds gathered at Canberra Press Club 2013 in Australia.
Though this is not the first time that the International Space Station orbiting above the Earth has been compromised, this time it is said to be pretty serious. The infection took place due to a malware carried by a USB used by the Russian Astronauts. It is also understood that the infection took place in one of the computer before the computers aboard the ISS were switched from Windows XP operating system to Linux. The infection could have taken place in the so-called SCADA management systems, which are susceptible to such infections and once the infection occurred, it spread around like a epidemic on the rest of the computers aboard the Spaceship orbiting around 350 kilometres above the Earth.
As of now the damage done by the malware is known but what is known that atleast a dozen of the space based computers including personal laptops of the Astronauts were infected.
Earlier in 2008, all the Windows XP based laptops aboard the ISS were infected by a virus called W32.Gammima.AG. in 2008, after a Russian cosmonaut brought a compromised laptop aboard. At that time the NASA spokesperson had said "It's not a frequent occurrence, but this isn't the first time."
However Eugene's statement has to be taken in the right context. To understand what the infection was about we need a few answers from the powers that be. Were the ISS computers deliberately infected with an idea of a gigantic data theft or other malafide intent by a third party or was the ISS hacked by Russian cosmonauts for their own gains.
This Press Club meet threw a lot more questions up then answering them. You can watch the video of the Canberra Press Club Meet 2013 in Australia below courtesy SC Magazine.