Computer virus in space – NASA astronauts get hit

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(DPA) Scientists from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) were busy fighting a computer virus that managed to infect one of the laptop computers used by astronauts on the space station, a spokesman for the US space agency said.

Citing security concerns, NASA Wednesday declined to identify the virus, or how it made its way to the space station.

But the space news site, which first reported the infection, identified the virus as ‘W32.Gammima.AG’. Referring to NASA’s daily status reports, the site said the virus was probably transmitted on a flash disk drive which somehow had not been scanned.

The malware is a year-old Windows worm designed to steal information from players of 10 different online games, some of them specific to the Chinese market. Among the games are ZhengTu, HuangYi Online and Rohan.

NASA said that new anti-virus programmes had been installed on the station’s computers and that the worm posed no threat. ‘It was never a threat to any command-and-control or operations computer,’ NASA spokesman Kelly Humphries told Computerworld magazine.


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