Now, computer bugs in space!August 28th, 2008 - 3:13 pm ICT by ANI
London, August 28 (ANI): NASA has confirmed that a computer virus made its way into space, through a laptop carried to the International Space Station (ISS) in July this year.
According to a report by the BBC, the worm, known as Gammima.AG, was first detected on Earth in August 2007 and lurks on infected machines waiting to steal login names for popular online games.
Space news website SpaceRef broke the story about the virus on the laptops that astronauts took to the ISS.
The laptops infected with the virus were used to run nutritional programs and let the astronauts periodically send e-mail back to Earth.
The threat to the laptops carried by astronauts is more, as they reportedly do not have any anti-virus software on them to prevent infection.
Once it has scooped up passwords and login names the Gammima.AG worm virus tries to send them back to a central server.
It targets a total of 10 games most of which are popular in the Far East such as Maple Story, HuangYi Online and Talesweaver.
It is thought that the virus might have traveled via a flash or USB drive owned by an astronaut and taken into space.
According to NASA, it was not the first time computer viruses had traveled into space and it was investigating how the machines were infected.
NASA officials sad that viruses had infected laptops taken to the ISS on several occasions, but the outbreaks have always only been a nuisance, and not a dangerous threat.
They determined that no command or control systems of the ISS were at risk from the malicious program.
NASA is now working with partners on the ISS to find out how the virus got on to the laptop in the first place.
The ISS has no direct net connection and all data traffic traveling from the ground to the spacecraft is scanned before being transmitted.
The space agency also plans to put in place security systems to stop such incidents happening in the future. (ANI)