Russian security expert Eugene Kaspersky says the International Space Station was infected by malware installed through a USB stick carried on board by a Russian cosmonaut.
Speaking to reporters at a National Press Club event in Canberra, Australia, last week, Kaspersky also said the infamous Stuxnet virus infected a nuclear power plant in Russia and "badly damaged" their internal infrastructure. Kaspersky refused to provide details or elaborate on how badly the virus affected ISS operations or how engineering crews cleaned up the mess left behind. Space can be scary enough when the system protecting you isn't infected with malware. This situation was probably even worse.
"The space guys from time-to-time are coming with USBs, which are infected. I'm not kidding. I was talking to Russian space guys and they said, 'yeah, from time-to-time there are viruses on the space station,'" Kaspersky told reporters in Australia.
Stuxnet was allegedly jointly created by U.S. and Israeli military forces to seriously damage Iran's nuclear program. (Coincidentally, that relationship is very complicated right now.) Stuxnet became public knowledge after it malfunctioned — or worked a little too well — and infected millions of computers worldwide.