Worm compromises astronauts’ ability to play online games

With all the checklists that astronauts have go down before they go up to the International Space Station, you’d think there would be an entry something like, “If you’re going to bring a personal USB drive or memory card aboard, please run it past some anti-virus software first.” Maybe it was an instruction that seemed so obvious it didn’t need to be said. Now we know differently.

NASA has confirmed that laptops brought aboard the ISS in July are infected with the Gammima.AG worm, adding quickly that the affected machines have no mission-critical duties and are used by the astronauts mainly to run nutritional programs and send e-mail. Officials suspect the worm thumbed a ride on a crew member’s thumb drive and found a fertile breeding ground on the laptops, which apparently have no anti-virus defenses (!). Luckily, the nature of this particular infection posed no serious threat in this environment — Gammima tries to steal the login information for a variety of online games, most popular in Far East, and attempts to send the data to a central server. NASA and its ISS partners are finally planning new security measures to prevent such occurrences — I say finally because NASA revealed it had let previous computer infections aboard the ISS slide by as “nuisances.”


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  • JP

    So how would Kirk and Spock handle this situation?