Russians infect space with USB malware, Stuxnet found in nuclear reactor

ISS had virus

ISS in malware scare, plus Russian reactor bad-actor factor.

The ever-quotable Eugene Kaspersky revealed last week that the International Space Station has been hit by several malware attacks. Beware Russian cosmonauts bearing USB keys. He also casually mentioned the Russian nuke plant that was infected by Stuxnet.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers fear the worst but hope for the best.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.


Say g'day to Darren Pauli, who spotted this last week:

Eugene Kaspersky, the charismatic boss of the Russian antivirus company bearing his name, said...Russian astronauts had carried a virus on removable media to the International Space Station infecting machines there.


[Also that] Stuxnet had 'badly infected' the internal network of a Russian nuclear plant...after it was carried across on a USB device. ... He said sophisticated malware like Gauss, Flame and Red October were rare and would require around $10 million to build. ... Half of all malware was written in Chinese...a third was written in Spanish or Portuguese, followed by Russian-coded malware that was...the most sophisticated in the world.  MORE


Phil Muncaster will phish for phood: [You're phired -Ed.]

Stuxnet...thought to have been developed by the US and Israel to disrupt Iran’s nuclear facilities, also managed to cause chaos at a Russian nuclear plant. [He] claimed that a “friend” of his, working at the unnamed power plant, [said] its internal network...had been “badly infected by Stuxnet.”


He argued that those...responsible for “offensive technologies” don’t realise the unintended consequences of releasing malware into the wild. ... If true, it highlights the danger of launching such attacks. ... “Unfortunately, it’s very possible that other nations which are not in a conflict will be victims of cyber attacks on critical infrastructure.”  MORE


And Brittany Hillen ascends with open-sourcey background:

Before converting...the international space station’s control systems over to Linux, Windows XP was the operating system of choice on dozens of laptops located in the space station.


In the past, a Russian astronaut brought a laptop aboard the ISS that harbored a W32.Gammima.AG worm, something that ended up spreading to other laptops running Windows XP.  MORE


Graham Cluley knows something about being a high-profile spokesperson for AV firms:

The claim came in a speech given by Kaspersky at the National Press Club of Australia last week, where he was a keynote speaker. ... In a question-and-answer session, following his keynote speech, Eugene Kaspersky says that an engineer friend told him [about the] Russian nuclear facility.

There is no way to independently verify the claim. ... But it is a fact that Stuxnet managed to infect many computer systems outside of its intended target. ... The very fact that it spread out of control, was what lead to its discovery.  MORE


Lee Bell rings the changes:

Kaspersky also made a rather outlandish joke...saying that all data is subject to theft:

"All the data is stolen," ... "At least twice."  MORE


But Max Smolaks inserts a note of caution: known for his flair for the dramatic – he has previously warned the UK government that a cyber-attack on critical infrastructure could have “literally catastrophic” consequences.  MORE


And Adam Clark Estes gets testy:

Skeptics will point out that it's hard to fact-check Kaspersky's claim about the nuclear power plant.


Nevertheless, Kaspersky's larger point rings true. In this brave, new era of cyber threats, no one is safe.  MORE


Sounds like Connor Simpson went to see Gravity recently:

Space can be scary enough when the system protecting you isn't infected with malware.  MORE

Computerworld Blogs Newsletter

Subscribe now to the Blogs Newsletter for a daily summary of the most recent and relevant blog posts at Computerworld.  

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

Shop Tech Products at Amazon