November 13, 2013
Last year, news broke that a virus sabotaged the Iranian uranium enrichment program. It seemed all too convenient at the time — and as it turned out, the virus, Stuxnet, was actually engineered by the United States and Israel. Now, the man-made virus has ventured into space, and made its way to the International Space Station.
The virus wasn’t planted there by a species of locust-like space aliens hell-bent on revenge for a defeat at the hands of humans during a certain day of historical importance. Instead, the virus has reportedly gone rogue — or at least become too big for its creators to control. Reports state that Stuxnet is hitting nuclear plants in countries for which the virus was not originally intended, and has somehow even made its way up to space. Eugene Kaspersky, famed head of IT security at Kaspersky Labs, states that a friend who works at a nuclear plant in Russia has informed him that the virus has managed to infect the plant’s internal network, which was not connected to the internet.
It wasn’t made clear how the virus was specifically installed onto the Russian plant’s network, but it is known that Stuxnet can travel through methods other than internet connectivity, such as via optical media or a USB drive. According to Kaspersky — who was not descriptive when making his claims — said “Russian space guys” have told him that the ISS had become infected with Stuxnet multiple times, brought aboard through infected USB drives.