The ISS was infected by a virus carried onboard inside a USB stick by Russian astronauts, Eugene Kaspersky has said.
Kaspersky, the eponymous head of security firm Kaspersky Lab, added that the event was one of several “virus epidemics” to take place on the space station.
The United Space Alliance, which runs the ISS, moved the “dozens of laptops” inside the station from Windows XP to Linux in May of this year, to decrease the risk of malware infections.
It had previously been reported that a laptop running XP brought on-board by a Russian astronaut had spread the W32.Gammima.AG worm virus around the station’s systems in 2008.
Kaspersky said that the recent infection demonstrated the danger of infection even without an internet connection.
Justin Briere of Data Memory Systems, a supplier of memory including flash drives, added: “The recent virus which found its way onto the International Space Station is proof that security needs to be taken more seriously across the globe, especially when it comes to USB flash drives, which can be used to transfer files quickly between devices.”