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Computer Virus Aboard the ISS

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the like-a-little-piece-of-home dept.

Space 290

chrb writes "BBC News is reporting that laptops taken to the International Space Station by NASA astronauts are infected with the Gammima.AG worm. The laptops have no net connection; officials suspect the worm may have been transferred via a USB flash drive owned by an astronaut. NASA have said this isn't the first time computer viruses had travelled into space."

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290 comments

Solid proof!!!! (2, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#24763723)

That they need IT staff on the ISS.

Even astronauts are not smart enough to maintain and repair their computers.

Honestly though, Why the hell dont the laptops have anti virus software? if they are going to run a OS that is targeted by the bulk of viruses out there then it's dumb to send it up without AV software installed.

There is no reason for a email/nutritional PC to not run AV.

Re:Solid proof!!!! (4, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | more than 5 years ago | (#24763769)

Wow, someone who actually believes AV software stops viruses effectively?

Re:Solid proof!!!! (2, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#24764221)

They stop really old Viruses like that one effectively, even CLamAV detects and cleans that one.

so yeah, AV would have prevented this one, it would have been effective.

Re:Solid proof!!!! (1, Insightful)

adpsimpson (956630) | more than 5 years ago | (#24763799)

Honestly though, Why the hell dont the laptops have Linux? ... There is no reason for a email/nutritional PC to not run linux.

There, fixed that for ya.

Re:Solid proof!!!! (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 5 years ago | (#24763977)

<BLOCKQUOTE><BLOCKQUOTE>Honestly though, Why the hell dont the laptops have <B>Minix</B>? ... There is no reason for a email/nutritional PC to not run </B>Minix</B>.</BLOCKQUOTE>

There, fixed that for ya.</BLOCKQUOTE>

You made a mistake, hope you don't mind that I corrected it.

Re:Solid proof!!!! (4, Funny)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 5 years ago | (#24764049)

Honestly though, Why the hell dont the laptops have Minix?

Because Minix doesn't support text formatting.

Re:Solid proof!!!! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24764183)

More importantly, it has no applications.

Re:Solid proof!!!! (1)

matrixownsyou (1286206) | more than 5 years ago | (#24764203)

Honestly though, Why the hell dont the laptops have OSX? ... There is no reason for a email/nutritional PC to not run OSX.

There, fixed that for ya.

You made a mistake, hope you don't mind that I corrected it.

There, fixed that for ya.

You made a mistake, hope you don't mind that I corrected it.

Re:Solid proof!!!! (5, Funny)

totally_mad (1061918) | more than 5 years ago | (#24763811)

You don't really understand. There is nothing they could have done to prevent the worm. The astronaut was installing Outlook which asked them to "close all software like antivirus and firewall which may interfere with the installation". The rest is history...

Re:Solid proof!!!! (4, Informative)

rktechhead (1348421) | more than 5 years ago | (#24763937)

One should expect this kind of thing, being intelligent doesn't automatically mean you are proficient with computers. Perhaps NASA should give their personnel a quick refresher on computer security.

Alas, while AV doesn't stop everything it is a lot better than not having it at all. A good AV scanner probably could have prevented this. Which again is why they should be giving them that little bit of training if they aren't already.

Re:Solid proof!!!! (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#24763957)

Antivirus software is typically only effective if regularly updated. In machines that aren't networked, getting these updates is very tricky.

Re:Solid proof!!!! (5, Funny)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#24764073)

Honestly though, Why the hell dont the laptops have anti virus software? if they are going to run a OS that is targeted by the bulk of viruses out there then it's dumb to send it up without AV software installed.

It looks like Mark Shuttleworth [wikipedia.org] might have to make another trip up there to drop off some Ubuntu disks.

Re:Solid proof!!!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24764099)

That they need IT staff on the ISS.

Even astronauts are not smart enough to maintain and repair their computers.

Honestly though, Why the hell dont the laptops have anti virus software? if they are going to run a OS that is targeted by the bulk of viruses out there then it's dumb to send it up without AV software installed.

There is no reason for a email/nutritional PC to not run AV.

They couldn't aford the extra 40 mill it was going to cost to add four copies of a $40 antivirus software. Government specs are a bitch.

Re:Solid proof!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24764249)

There is no reason for a email/nutritional PC to not run AV.

That would be some sort of "space nappy" then?

(sorry...)

Right... (4, Informative)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 5 years ago | (#24764263)

So, on some computers which (A) have been there for years, and (B) have no network connection over which to download virus signature updates, somehow miraculously that AV software would be up to date and able to recognize the newest trojans. I don't know what AV software that is, but I want it too ;)

Or, I know, let's send Mordac up there with each Shuttle or rocket trip, to install those updates.

Oh yeah, and you so want to be up there on your own, when the retarded AV software after a buggy update decides one or more of the following:

- some critical Windows file looks suspicious and deletes it. It happened more than once IRL.

- some piece of binary data transmitted by or to your computer looks suspiciously like an obscure, outdated SQL-Server exploit, and shuts the program down and cuts off the network connection. I can personally testify that it happened to me in WoW, never mind that it wasn't on the right port, I had no version of SQL-Server installed, and it was on a connection to WoW that was on for 2 hours now and thus unlikely to be what a virus does. Or see the infamous "STARTLOGGER"/"STOPLOGGER" idiocy that made it possible for a while to disconnect anyone from IRC (and God knows what else) if they have Norton AV installed. Yeah, you so want that on a space station's computers.

- introduces a bigger vulnerability of its own than Windows has. At least one RL mass-pwnage, and of the format-your-hdd sort at that, happened over a buffer overflow vulnerability in IIRC McAffee's firewall. Or if you look in the history of Norton's patch notes, a _lot_ of them were patching old buffer overflow vulnerabilities in their AV software.

- suddenly decides that an otherwise legitimate piece of software is too dangerous, and just deletes it. It happened to me with one AV which decided that IRC is too dangerous a place and just removed my mIRC executable. Not because of some malicious code, or even vulnerability, in that version of mIRC, but just because apparently they considered it dangerous anyway. You so want to be up on a space station when such a piece of crap decides that your, say, telnet is too dangerous and must be stopped.

- loads itself in memory twice and slows everything down to a crawl. Happened to me, with an older version of McAffee's AV. Oh, and trying to stop or uninstall it, only stopped one of the copies.

- goes paranoid about protecting the user's "privacy", and prevents legitimate logins. Again, McAffee did that for me. Half the sites were so confused by whatever it did, that they simultaneously thought I'm logged in _and_ not logged in. I was starting to develop a deep empathy for Schroedinger's cat. You surely want that kind of thing randomly happening when you're trying to log into some more important thing up there.

Heh ;)

Re:Right... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24764599)

Interesting that half your reply revolves around about 3 applications; WoW, mIRC, and McAffee.

First off I'm pretty positive WoW is not going to be installed anytime soon on the ISS nor on anything relating to the Space Shuttle's computer systems. Secondly I highly doubt that the ISS team is going to be downloading pr0n, mp3s, etc or creating the newest BASH funnies while on the station (eg: they're not going to use IRC while on the station). Thirdly, I very much doubt that NASA would use Norton, McAffee or any iteration of a consumer based AV software. Hell, they have enough decent programmers to code their own software to rely on something that for the most part probably would not work. But...then you're relying on software that might not be able to do conversions from the standard system to metric which cause a catastrophic failure and kill everyone on board. HAL. HAL are you still there? ;)

Re:Solid proof!!!! (2, Funny)

muffen (321442) | more than 5 years ago | (#24764327)

That they need IT staff on the ISS.

Even astronauts are not smart enough to maintain and repair their computers.

Honestly though, Why the hell dont the laptops have anti virus software? if they are going to run a OS that is targeted by the bulk of viruses out there then it's dumb to send it up without AV software installed.

There is no reason for a email/nutritional PC to not run AV.

AV on astronaut laptops, are you crazy?
What we need to do is send this virus to aliens!

Didn't you learn _anything_ from Independece Day?

The real question should be (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24764553)

why are they running Windows on the shuttle? There really is NO reason to do so. Hopefully, it is not used in anyplace that can allow another country to control the ISS (or our space crafts).

Even In Space (3, Funny)

Skeetskeetskeet (906997) | more than 5 years ago | (#24763727)

Microsoft can't hear you scream.

Re:Even In Space (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24763991)

They can, and are about the only thing that can. They just don't care...

Life will find a way. (2, Interesting)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 5 years ago | (#24763729)

And to think that I hated that line. Unfortunately for the life from a meteorite theory, computer viruses are a bit more resiliant to the extremes of space.

No antivirus? (2, Interesting)

totally_mad (1061918) | more than 5 years ago | (#24763737)

To top it all, NASA says in the same breath that they are investigating how the worm got abort and that the austronauts' laptops don't have any anti-virus software... Go figure!

Re:No antivirus? (5, Funny)

BabyDave (575083) | more than 5 years ago | (#24763979)

>p>To be fair, it's because they know the real reason that the Mir space station came down ...

"Norton Antivirus has detected that the following file is infected with a virus:

gyrocontrol.dll

The infected file has been deleted

Oh No, Mutated Space Virii (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24763751)

Oh God! HERE comes the Computer Andromeda Strain!!
AH!!

One has to ask (5, Insightful)

toby (759) | more than 5 years ago | (#24763757)

What *Windows* is doing in space in the first place.

Re:One has to ask (4, Funny)

Gori (526248) | more than 5 years ago | (#24763823)

My thoughts exactly. There is no reboot after you hit the Blue Planet Of Death...

*ducks*

Re:One has to ask (1)

steveb3210 (962811) | more than 5 years ago | (#24764705)

My thoughts exactly. There is no reboot after you hit the Blue Planet Of Death...

*ducks*

You mean windows is in Uranus?.. I'm sorry, I just couldn't help myself...

Re:One has to ask (2, Funny)

halfEvilTech (1171369) | more than 5 years ago | (#24763881)

What *Windows* is doing in space in the first place.

because it is already considered a large waste of 'space'

Re:One has to ask (5, Funny)

mlush (620447) | more than 5 years ago | (#24764333)

What *Windows* is doing in space in the first place.

I've always thought that opening Windows on a space ship is a bad thing

Re:One has to ask (1)

JamesP (688957) | more than 5 years ago | (#24764419)

No, the problem is not Windows in space

The problem is having only one Windows copy thrown into the emptiness of nothing...

Re:One has to ask (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24764421)

Why the fuck would anyone want to use Linux?
Linux sucks big, fat, pimply geek cock. It's a proven fact. Go back to recompiling your kernel while the big boys go use Windows... a real OS (so real they even use it in space)!

I'd be willing to wager (4, Funny)

RisingSon (107571) | more than 5 years ago | (#24763759)

that Captain Kirk picked up something nasty from those green bitches. Damn space viruses.

If i know my star trek... (4, Funny)

Trent Hawkins (1093109) | more than 5 years ago | (#24764453)

The virus is actually an alien computer system attempting to interface with the station's computer systems.
Kirk: Spock __ Can __ you translate __ their message? Spock: Yes Captain. The message is, "Do you wish to enlarge your penis?" Kirk: Make it so...

digital genocide (0, Flamebait)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 5 years ago | (#24763761)

If they're not more careful, we might find someday intelligent artificial life out there... and kill it.

Jeff Goldblum planned it that way (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24763841)

That's what the laptop virus is there for - you can't be too careful.

Re:digital genocide (4, Insightful)

Chineseyes (691744) | more than 5 years ago | (#24764159)

If they're not more careful, we might find someday intelligent artificial life out there... and kill it.

Yes, because intelligent artificial lifeforms will definitely be running windows Vista on an x86 architecture.

In Before.. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24763803)

The Andreomeda Strain

NASA needs Linux (5, Insightful)

MrSmith0011000100110 (1344879) | more than 5 years ago | (#24763815)

This is even further proof that NASA(as well as most every other major organization) needs to move away from the virus laden, insecure, corporate blunder we call Microsoft. Sure Exchange is a great mail system but its still just an iteration of a wheel that was created long before it. Were a giant like NASA or Boeing or Lockheed Martin or the US Govt itself to step away from the Microsoft Corporation, we'd start to see whatever the new adoptee was (preferably Linux) take some serious light and hopefully outshine the Gates machine.

Re:NASA needs Linux (3, Insightful)

name*censored* (884880) | more than 5 years ago | (#24764275)

This isn't necessarily a problem with Microsoft/Windows (although they certainly could have had a better security system), it's a problem with monoculture. Each vulnerability discovered opens up mind-bogglingly large amounts of computers to hacking, so all of the black hats are focusing their efforts on one small goal (making at least one of them succeed very quickly). This also means that exploits relying on uncommon settings (ones that rely on the target having say, two separate unrelated applications installed) are researched, where they might not have been worth the effort otherwise.

Although you have a point about big companies stepping away from Microsoft. Linux is open source, no-architecture-lock-in, and comes with so many different distros with so many different default settings, that the monoculture problem would be replaced with many-more-but-easier-to-manageable problems (think "Asteroids"). The other advantage that a polyculture OS world would offer is halting the SPREAD of the virii - if an exploit relies on someone to have XYZ system/configuration, it wouldn't necessarily be able to spread through the "fire-breaks" of ABC or DEF systems/configurations (and since most home computers nowadays are Microsoft's XYZ systems/configurations, there's no "fire breaks").

Re:NASA needs Linux (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 5 years ago | (#24764713)

Or they could just stop running as local admins. Regardless of OS, if they dont take secure steps then they'll always fall into some trouble. Its just a lot more obvious in Windows.

The astronauts should have a separate account for local admin tasks and they should be using a limited user account for everything else. Not doing this is just like running as root 24/7.

The real problem with windows culture is the assumption that people can get away with running as admin 24/7. They cant.

Mutations? (1)

k33l0r (808028) | more than 5 years ago | (#24763819)

Beware the mutations that will, as bad science movies have taught us, inevitably happen. The destruction of all life on Earth is nigh.

USB drive viruses (1)

omfglearntoplay (1163771) | more than 5 years ago | (#24763845)

Nobody in NASA should need AV software if they don't touch the internet... except for the fact that viruses hang out on USB sticks now. I've seen at least one myself, and I think it depended on a Windows autorun file similar to what runs CDs for the masses.

Can someone with more experience explain how to avoid USB stick viruses? Are you safe if you have a USB stick that doesn't have any proprietary software, or will the good ole Windows auto-open or autorun screw you regardless?

Re:USB drive viruses (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24764031)

Simply disable the autorun service for USBs. That will make your computer safe from yet another of the many, many moronic ideas of Windows developers.

Also, computer viruses like those cannot be detected normally under Windows XP, but on Windows 98/Millenium (which don't have autorun for USB sticks) they appear in their full glory. AND they will screw you as soon as you auto-open one. Then you'll need to remove them from your hard disk (and of course, the virus files cannot be detected normally under Windows XP)

Re:USB drive viruses (2, Informative)

itsthebin (725864) | more than 5 years ago | (#24764111)

start --> run --> gpedit.msc

admin templates --> system --> turn off autoplay ... enable

though if you doubleclick on the drive letter in "my computer" you will run the autorun.inf on the drive - so untrusted drives , explore first.

Re:USB drive viruses (1)

aadvancedGIR (959466) | more than 5 years ago | (#24764379)

That was exactly the idea of the IT team of a place where I worked a few years ago, no external connection = no risk. Then one day, someone brought an infected floppy (it turned out later it was for perfectly work-related reasons) and the virus infected the 1000+ unpatched PC of the site in a couple of minutes.

And for the USB, yes, they now are considered by Windows as valid autorun devices under the presure of the stick makers who wanted to "add value" to their products (yet, I haven't seen any of these applications being more usefull than a virus). I've seen of those virus, but since it has a USB only propagation technique, it wasn't very widespread (only half of the team PC and a couple of sticks).

The reverse would be much worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24763855)

If an alien computer virus managed to get into and propagate through Earth computers....

Geez... (5, Funny)

VE3OGG (1034632) | more than 5 years ago | (#24763863)

Network security really isn't that hard! It isn't like it's rocket scie... oh... nevermind...

NASA Research (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24763875)

I think they took their research on how viruses react in zero gravity just a little too far this time.

Sure there is. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24763885)

How about the minor detail that they are in an isolated environment, (i.e. space) and have no internet connection. Aside from this fluke, what are the odds of catching a computer virus in space? Really? I never install AV on my isolated systems either, not because I'm stupid, but because computer virii don't spring fourth from nowhere.

Re:Sure there is. (3, Insightful)

TheP4st (1164315) | more than 5 years ago | (#24764283)

How about the minor detail that the Austronauts can bring USB sticks with them that have not been thoroughly checked for malware. While being an isolated environment it obviously isn't protected from security challenged austronauts.

Who to believe? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24763961)

Slashdot: "The laptops have no net connection"

Article: "The laptops infected with the virus were used to run nutritional programs and let the astronauts periodically send e-mail back to Earth."

What I would like to know... (1)

RavenChild (854835) | more than 5 years ago | (#24764041)

... (more than why they are not running anti-virus software) is why they are allowed to carry on objects that might accidentally pose a threat to the ISS and/or the important research taking place.

Anti-virus cannot be your only line of defense.

Nice one to get (5, Informative)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 5 years ago | (#24764053)

From Symantec's site:

It then attempts to steal sensitive information for the following online games:

        * ZhengTu
        * Wanmi Shijie or Perfect World
        * Dekaron Siwan Mojie
        * HuangYi Online
        * Rexue Jianghu
        * ROHAN
        * Seal Online
        * Maple Story
        * R2 (Reign of Revolution)
        * Talesweaver

Oh noes, now how will the astronauts be able to play their Japanese MMO's?

Re:Nice one to get (0, Troll)

Emb3rz (1210286) | more than 5 years ago | (#24764155)

Mod parent informative.

Everyone else is going off on their wild theories of how ISS will come crashing to the ground because of this, but in truth this worm won't even try to interact with their relevant systems.

Re:Nice one to get (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24764357)

Those are all Chinese/Korean MMOs. Learn2geography.

Re:Nice one to get (1)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 5 years ago | (#24764527)

Yup, my bad. The only one I recognized on sight was Maple Story which I though was from Japan but you're correct, Korean.

Re:Nice one to get (0)

muffen (321442) | more than 5 years ago | (#24764377)

From Symantec's site:

It then attempts to steal sensitive information for the following online games:

* ZhengTu * Wanmi Shijie or Perfect World * Dekaron Siwan Mojie * HuangYi Online * Rexue Jianghu * ROHAN * Seal Online * Maple Story * R2 (Reign of Revolution) * Talesweaver

Oh noes, now how will the astronauts be able to play their Japanese MMO's?

I think we should send this virus to aliens, imagine how l33t their characters must be, having alien technology and all.
I will "pew pew" pwn all you n00bs once I get those accounts!

Not an accident (1)

gmf (810466) | more than 5 years ago | (#24764091)

Actually, they just took the virus to space to have it readily available when the aliens attack. Of course they didn't remember to also take a Mac to upload it to the alien base ship, so I guess we're doomed.

oops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24764095)

I hope they will not get the Blue Screen of death during landing...

Say it with me... (1)

scubamage (727538) | more than 5 years ago | (#24764143)

WORMS (wormswormswormswormsworms) IN (inininininin) SPAAAAAAAAAAAAAACCCCCCCEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!! (spacespacespacespacespace)

They really need to come up with a way to visualize echoing sound in html5.

Re:Say it with me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24764347)

Shrink your font size by two points for every iteration, and increase your font color by #111111 every two iteration, until the font is not visible due to size or color.

The laptops infected with the virus were used to run nutritional programs and let the astronauts periodically send e-mail back to Earth.

The laptops carried by astronauts reportedly do not have any anti-virus software on them to prevent infection.

If there was no antivirus, how did they catch the virus? I can only suppose that NASA scans the contents of every packet that comes to and from the space station. So much for 0-G instagibbing 13 year olds :(

Computer Virus .. ? (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 5 years ago | (#24764157)

Come on slashdot, don't be twee, what Operating System [howstuffworks.com] does this 'computer virus' need to run on .. Systems Affected [symantec.com]: Windows 2000, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows NT, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP ..

WINDOWS ONLY! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24764167)

That'll teach them to use Microsoft products in a place where it could me life and death.

Re:WINDOWS ONLY! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24764573)

Yes, I'm sure that all of the mission-critical systems are running on laptops - especially the life-support and navigation systems.

On a funny note, though, I was watching a Discovery Channel special about Air Force One, and I noticed that one of the computer screens on the Comm room had a Windows error message on it. Also, when I badge in at work, I almost always hear the Windows error chime going off incessantly, and see the poor mystified guard clicking the mouse in futility. And the last time I was at Wal-Mart, one of the self check-out registers had to reboot and I saw a Windows XP login screen pop up. Nice!

Digital life form found ! (1)

PermanentMarker (916408) | more than 5 years ago | (#24764187)

Can you just imagine how a pre-biological species based on silicon and power wires enters the space age....

And then some day their computers are infected with a populair biological-virus, made by some siliconcyberpunk, who likes to hack bio-systems.

Perhaps life on earth had digital start. If such viruses leaked out..

Somebody...... (1)

budword (680846) | more than 5 years ago | (#24764205)

Somebody got busted surfing for some porn, so they came up with this USB key story. Have you seen the Crazy Bitches [thesmokinggun.com] they have up there ? I'd bring some porn too.

NASA geeks FTW! (0, Flamebait)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#24764233)

What was all that shit about NASA astronauts being our best and brightest again?

Re:NASA geeks FTW! (1)

Zoxed (676559) | more than 5 years ago | (#24764651)

> What was all that shit about NASA astronauts being our best and brightest again?

It would not be hard to be a best and brightest physicist and still not know much about Windows security (especially, as we all here know, Real Work (tm) does not get done on Windows but on Solaris, Linux, or even VMS :-).

Enough is enough! (1)

Rocketman_Ryan (1276180) | more than 5 years ago | (#24764265)

I've had it with these mother*&!%$@# worms on this mother*&!%$@# space station! Everybody strap in. I'm about to open some *&!%$@# airlocks.

Halman could use it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24764281)

To destroy any monoliths that try to block Lucifer.
Those bastards.

More virus mutation! (0, Troll)

ATestR (1060586) | more than 5 years ago | (#24764365)

Anyone who has read or watched any science fiction knows that it is only a matter of time before one of these innocent viruses from Earth is bombarded by radiation or infected by some space alien to become a super-virus capable of infecting human nervous systems and turning the infected human into a flesh eating zombie! Its only a matter of time...

Come to think of it, isn't that a pretty good description of the folks who are in Denver this week?

this isn't the first time? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24764401)

NASA have said this isn't the first time computer viruses had travelled into space.

Well of course it isn't. I suspect that viruses traveled into space on the Sputnik, and any other spacecraft not built in a sterile clean room. I mean, that's kind of obvious!

Re:this isn't the first time? (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 5 years ago | (#24764663)

NASA have said this isn't the first time computer viruses had travelled into space.

We all know why this happened (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 5 years ago | (#24764413)

It was part of a top-secret program to make sure that our computer viruses operated properly on alien spacecraft, just in case most of our cities are blown up on July 4th.

the laptops have no net connection .. (4, Insightful)

rs232 (849320) | more than 5 years ago | (#24764469)

"The laptops have no net connection .."

So, how do they send/receive email ..

"The laptops infected with the virus were used to run nutritional programs and let the astronauts periodically send e-mail back to Earth"

So, they do have a net connection ..

"The laptops carried by astronauts reportedly do not have any anti-virus software on them to prevent infection"

So how did they detect the 'infection' by the Gammima.AG worm ..

"The ISS has no direct net connection"

How do the laptops send/recieve email .. speculation by a slashdot reader don't count ..

--

"We are having a hard time understanding the how and why [wired.com], but everything is working", Commander Bill Sheperd Feb 2001

Re:the laptops have no net connection .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24764613)

I would guess that they maintain a private network that has a mail server on it, and then that machine forwards it to the internet.

Re:the laptops have no net connection .. (3, Insightful)

LordEd (840443) | more than 5 years ago | (#24764673)

I think the summary is incorrect. From TFA:

The ISS has no direct net connection and all data traffic travelling from the ground to the spacecraft is scanned before being transmitted.

Having no network connection and no direct net connection are different things. I suspect it means that the ISS has some form of network connection to NASA's internal network, but does not have any access to the Internet.

Just an experiment... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24764499)

...to see how computer viruses behave in space.

Dave? (1)

Bazman (4849) | more than 5 years ago | (#24764517)

I'm going to re-watch 2001 and see if Dave has a USB stick in any of the shots. Maybe I'll just photoedit one in....

I should hope not (1)

jimmypw (895344) | more than 5 years ago | (#24764601)

The laptops have no net connection

I should hope not!!! Sending a multi billion $ project in to space with no AV and windows could lead to another disaster. Heck using windows alone is too much imagine the control station blue screening on you during re-entry with an "invalid floating point" error :p

ID (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24764707)

Quick! Somebody arrest Jeff Goldblum! Before the shields go down and the blow the ISS out of the sky!

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