Security Corner

Aug 27 2008   2:40AM GMT

Worm Infects International Space Station Laptops

Ken Harthun Ken Harthun Profile: Ken Harthun

Houston, we have malware. (Sorry, I had to do that.)

Apollo 13 had real live mechanical malfunctions that could have resulted in the mission earning a place in our space program’s disaster timeline between Apollo 1 in 1967 and the Challenger disaster in 1986. Fortunately, that didn’t happen–Apollo 13 went down in history as a close call. Unfortunately, physical problems with the heat shield tiles resulted in the Columbia disaster in 2003. Now, the space program faces another threat–this time, a non-physical one–in the form of malware invading laptops aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

In the article, “Houston, we have a virus” in The Register, “The infected machines were not considered mission critical, meaning they weren’t responsible for command and control. The NASA spokesman was unable to say if the infected laptops were connected to mission-critical systems.”

What if there are?

Security is not optional–it’s mandatory. Especially when lives are at stake.

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