First animal in space: 1957
First human in space: 1961
First malware in space: 2008?
Malware detected by Trend Micro as WORM_AUTORUN.BPN has boldly gone where no malware has gone before — outer space. But perhaps not even.
It was all over the news that the malware, which also steals sensitive information from certain online games, has recently stowed away to the International Space Station. However, it’s not actually the infection debut of a malware at the research facility hovering 350 kilometers above the Earth.
NASA spokesman Kelly Humphries confirmed that it’s not a frequent occurrence, but this isn’t the first time that a worm or a virus has shot through the stratosphere and beyond. NASA is calling the threat a mere nuisance and claiming that it has only infected non-critical machines used for email and the like, according to Wired News.
However, the incident plainly shows the ubiquity of malware in modern life — not even the last frontier is safe. And, yes, it may be no more than an annoyance this time, but how much longer before more serious threats make their way up and to a galaxy far, far away?