Who Infected the International Space Station?

W32.Gammima.AG found on orbiting network, but nobody's saying how it got there

Dark Reading Staff, Dark Reading

August 29, 2008

1 Min Read

NASA and other space agencies say they still don't know how the computers on the International Space Station contracted a virus that has spread across the orbiting environment.

NASA confirmed Wednesday that the W32.Gammima.AG virus has infected a number of computers on the International Space Station. W32.Gammima.AG, which is common to online gaming environments, is considered a low-level threat and is not expected to interfere with the computers' performance.

NASA says that its Windows-based computers are always checked and cleaned before launch. Computers on the Space Station are not directly connected to the Internet, though astronauts can send and receive mail via a KU band such as the ones used by orbiting satellites, a spokesman said.

That means that the virus either went undetected on at least one machine before launch, or that it was introduced by one of the astronauts via a portable storage device, such as a USB thumb drive, observers say.

The spokesman would not say whether the infected machines are linked to mission-critical systems on the Space Station.

— Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading

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Dark Reading Staff

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