NASA Reveals Litany of Security Breaches

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NASA Reveals Litany of Security Breaches

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Highlights include the loss of the International Space Station's control codes to laptop theft. Whoops.

A lifelong diet of sci-fi movies and space-based novels has inculcated a certain sense of NASA's invulnerability in various regions of our dear geekdom. A feeling, perhaps, that the agency is more Battlestar Galactica than NCIS (do click the latter link if you haven't had a laugh yet today. It's amazing).

Sadly, security at the agency isn't as tight as its image would like it to seem. In a written briefing to Congress this week, NASA Inspector General Paul Martin gave details of the 5,408 security lapses which occured at the space agency in 2010 and 2011. Some were small, some were medium, some were nascent diplomatic incidents which resulted in arrests across international borders. For a full accounting, you can read Martin's whole testimony here.

Select highlights of the document include tales of theft, such as when someone stole a laptop which NASA had been using to store the command and control algorithms for the International Space Station. Other instances of laptop thievery included the loss of personal information and data relating to various projects including Constellation and Orion.

There are tales of international hacking too, such as when a group of hackers using Chinese IP addresses managed to take full control of the networks inside NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and spend some time wearing out the "ctrl", "c", and "v" keys on their keyboards.

All told, these losses cost the agency an estimated $7 million over the two years.

"NASA needs to improve agency-wide oversight of the full range of its IT assets," wrote Martin. "Until NASA fully implements an agency-wide data encryption solution, sensitive data on its mobile computing and portable data storage devices will remain at high risk for loss or theft."

Martin continues, "[At time of writing] NASA cannot consistently measure the amount of sensitive data exposed when employee notebooks are lost or stolen because the agency relies on employees to self-report regarding the lost data rather than determining what was stored on the devices by reviewing backup files."

So that might be the first thing to fix, Inspector General. While the document notes that NASA's position as an agency for national edification on all things space makes it an especially porous and attractive target for hackers and thieves, it also notes that such a high volume of breaches is unacceptable for an agency like NASA. We have to get to Mars, guys. What if you get there and then find that someone's hacked your space-computers and replaced the landing codes with reruns of Friendship is Magic dubbed in Mandarin? I mean you'd be entertained on the ride home, sure, but still...

Source: Discovery.com

Permalink

... Wait, WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU ATTACK/STEAL FROM/HACK NASA?!

Rainboq:
... Wait, WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU ATTACK/STEAL FROM/HACK NASA?!

what better place to get rocket research then the only guys that set a man on the moon?

I guess it's a side effect of being around since 1946. They probably still have paper records hanging around and people who have worked there since the 70's who are extremely intelligent but not very computer literate.

I laughed so hard at the NCIS thing... I felt a six pack coming on. Thank you for brightening my day.

Wait there's a

Hevva:
Other instances of laptop thievery included the loss of personal information and data relating to various projects including Constellation and Orion.

Wait there's a project about me? Oh God that explains the big van with NASA on the side of it that's been parked outside of my house and has been following me for months.

This is basically the same attitude to security of the united states government in general.

henritje:

Rainboq:
... Wait, WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU ATTACK/STEAL FROM/HACK NASA?!

what better place to get rocket research then the only guys that set a man on the moon?

Pretty much all their research is done in a fairly open matter.

That NCIS clip, omfg.

OT; It's all well and good to say that NASA needs/should improve their security, but when you go and slash their budget it sends a pretty clear message that you don't really care about them.

NASA is in limbo, they might research shit but not on the scale they used to. And Mars? Seriously? Didn't we already learn from Doom there's nothing but bad things that come from Mars?

Demons, worse than fucking zombies and where the fuck is my BFG?

"Haha, we've stolen their plans!" "YES! What are they doing?!" "...nothing." Nah I know it's actually something to be worried about but at the same time hacking NASA doesn't sound as awesome as hacking the CIA or something. I loved that NCIS hacking thing, though. That was hilarious :D

Rainboq:
... Wait, WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU ATTACK/STEAL FROM/HACK NASA?!

Mr Martin said Nasa was a "target-rich environment for cyber attacks".

He said that the motivation of the hackers ranged from "individuals testing their skill to break into Nasa systems, to well-organized criminal enterprises hacking for profit, to intrusions that may have been sponsored by foreign intelligence services".

The BBC article is better than the discovery one.

Rainboq:
... Wait, WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU ATTACK/STEAL FROM/HACK NASA?!

this is why:



the most important part of NASA is not (only) the space exploration and research aspect.
it's the composite materials research.

having a ceramic (Protective Ceramic Coating) that can be heated to 500°c and then almost instantly grabbed by your hand is a good way to make profit.
for this for example:

Oh, NASA.
Just take the time recover and beef up your security. I suppose the inevitable first step toward colonizing Mars will have to wait.

Rainboq:
... Wait, WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU ATTACK/STEAL FROM/HACK NASA?!

They wanted the tang recipe

tbh this do not seem that bad except for the hacking.

The laptop thing was most likely just stolen out of someones car and just sounds worse then it is.

Ever since the cold war ended NASA's been pretty much neglected by the government. Although it doesn't surprise me that once the USSR was no longer a threat they didn't give many fucks about the security of NASA anymore since the rivalry with the USSR was its driving force of its creation and existence. It's a shame.

amaranth_dru:
NASA is in limbo, they might research shit but not on the scale they used to. And Mars? Seriously? Didn't we already learn from Doom there's nothing but bad things that come from Mars?

Demons, worse than fucking zombies and where the fuck is my BFG?

You don't get a BFG till we get to Mars, but it doesn't come with a flashlight.

OT: Maybe they could put a GPS tracker on the laptops or make it so they explode if tampered with.

Rainboq:
... Wait, WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU ATTACK/STEAL FROM/HACK NASA?!

To answer your question because China wants to see if they can control American Satellites.

Gaiseric:

amaranth_dru:
NASA is in limbo, they might research shit but not on the scale they used to. And Mars? Seriously? Didn't we already learn from Doom there's nothing but bad things that come from Mars?

Demons, worse than fucking zombies and where the fuck is my BFG?

You don't get a BFG till we get to Mars, but it doesn't come with a flashlight.

OT: Maybe they could put a GPS tracker on the laptops or make it so they explode if tampered with.

Have the laptops short-circuit their lithium-ion battery. The battery will blow up. Remember the sony debacle a few years back?

spectrenihlus:

Rainboq:
... Wait, WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU ATTACK/STEAL FROM/HACK NASA?!

To answer your question because China wants to see if they can control American Satellites.

Wrong Government agency. In 1999 congress took away jurisdiction of American space satellites from NASA(government) and the Commerce department(private) and gave it to the State department and the Airforce. And there always the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

NASA probably has the least amount of sensitive information a large Government agency could have.

Uh oh, mentioned FiM in the article.

*waits for thread to be derailed*

henritje:

Rainboq:
... Wait, WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU ATTACK/STEAL FROM/HACK NASA?!

what better place to get rocket research then the only guys that set a man on the moon?

I guess the Russians went into space first, far before the US, and their security would be a lot tighter.

As Baldr said, why exactly would NASA really have any information 'sensitive' (besides control codes, all the research should be free anyway?)

I'm sorry, but doesn't NASA carry out a high number of military research? That's probably very sensitive.

Rainboq:
... Wait, WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU ATTACK/STEAL FROM/HACK NASA?!

Non-Terrestrial Officers

And of course, other things that have already been mentioned.

To NASA:

Get TruCrypt. If the FBI could not get past it with their hyper-computers then hackers will have no hope!

direkiller:
[quote="Rainboq" post="7.352953.13997937"]
The laptop thing was most likely just stolen out of someones car and just sounds worse then it is.

Somehow "someone broke into my car and stole the NASA launch codes" doesn't sound much better than "someone stole my laptop with the NASA launch codes on it."

Rainboq:
... Wait, WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU ATTACK/STEAL FROM/HACK NASA?!

They found the moon base... proof that all politicians are aliens. It had to be stopped for your protection. Please get back into line citizen.

I can answer no further questions human...sir.

Check ebay I bet it will go up sometime as "NASA computer and stuff". Or there will be a videogame about how the Russians stole NASA's computers because NASA was building some doomsday weapon.

Roander:

direkiller:
[quote="Rainboq" post="7.352953.13997937"]
The laptop thing was most likely just stolen out of someones car and just sounds worse then it is.

Somehow "someone broke into my car and stole the NASA launch codes" doesn't sound much better than "someone stole my laptop with the NASA launch codes on it."

yea but it dose happen
and its not even like its that important outside of NASA controll. They dont keep rockets fuled up on the pad.

and at least this one dosent effect 26million peoples like the Vetteran Afares laptop feasco one did(although that was a breach in procedures and the guy did get fired)

so yea it sounds worse then it is

Okay, first: Litany of Security Breaches ?
Worst name for a Space Marine Battle Barge ever.

Second: Can´t we just all agree to leave people who work on getting us further into space alone ?
Hack an Accounting-firm or some crap like that, but don´t force the guys that try to bring about the glorious space-age to deal with your cybercrime bullshit.

mixadj:

Gaiseric:

amaranth_dru:
NASA is in limbo, they might research shit but not on the scale they used to. And Mars? Seriously? Didn't we already learn from Doom there's nothing but bad things that come from Mars?

Demons, worse than fucking zombies and where the fuck is my BFG?

You don't get a BFG till we get to Mars, but it doesn't come with a flashlight.

OT: Maybe they could put a GPS tracker on the laptops or make it so they explode if tampered with.

Have the laptops short-circuit their lithium-ion battery. The battery will blow up. Remember the sony debacle a few years back?

Put a little C4 in there for added "Umpf" and I think it would work out nicely. The employees would certainly be more careful with it.

Rainboq:
... Wait, WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU ATTACK/STEAL FROM/HACK NASA?!

NASA is one of the big creators of US technology that winds up going into other things other than space-craft/satellites and related projects.

China is also working on it's own space program, and has made it clear that it's very interested in putting missles in orbit in some of the domestic propaganda I've been reading. Not to mention that if you do a search for "China, Satellite, Lasers" or "Chinese Anti-Satellite Lasers" you'll run into a lot of articles dealing with how since around 2006 China hss has ground based laser systems capable of blinding US military satellites. A point that while covered by the associated press you'll notice has been overlooked by the left-leaning media due to it's peace at any price outlook. Doing something like this doubtlessly required in depth knowlege of US satellite technology and doubtlessly needs to be kept up with countermeasures... and the guys working on those countermeasures are probably going to be at NASA.

To be honest, China has a tendency to steal most of their technology, they innovate very little (which is not to say that they do not innovate anything at all) and it's been an increasing problem especially with the US and it's development starting to stagnate and slow down in terms of progress, as other nations catch up, or at least their upper echelons do, we aren't pulling ahead with new innovations at the pace we used to which makes thefts of this sort increasingly problematic.

while somewhat unrelated to the specific point of why someone would hack NASA (and China was mentioned) I will say that one of our problems as a country is that we tend to ignore outright acts of war far too easily. China's theft of military technology during Clinton's watch, hacking NASA and other systems, and outright piracy, the big issue prior to 9/11 was China intercepting a US Jet over international waters, forcing it to land, and then digging through it for technology to steal. The pilots were released, but it was a big deal at the time given how utterly crazy the whole idea was. Truthfully I sort of suspect a lot of people were actually happy for 9/11 because that forced a shift of attention away from something that probably should have lead to a global war.

Here is one article covering it, I picked a fairly left wing source to be fair:

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2001/apr2001/spy-a03.shtml

What this article glosses over is that the mid-air collision took place because the Chinese intercepted the plane and were in the process of threatening it, and the collision took place while our plane tried to head furhter out into international airspace while calling for reinforcements.

I've had my eyes on things like this for a very long time, and I actually find it kind of disturbing how quickly people forget.

At any rate, the big point isn't so much why would anyone want to hack NASA, it's more or less a matter of who wouldn't want to? That's probably where the most advanced tech on the planet is still under development (at least for the moment). China in paticular has been involved in a lot of bad behavior and techno-thefts with the US because we keep turning the other cheek, and if we're not going to send the military to try and make them stop, why shouldn't they continue to steal everything they can? Hacking is effectively penelty free for them since they are obviously going to ignore US law, and the only way to get the guys or force them to stop is pretty much to go to China and make them, which we aren't willing to do.

The thing is that saying NASA needs better security is kind of a joke, the laptop theft is a problem (irresponsibility of those with custody of the laptop) but electronically there is no such thing as invincible security, hackers, who are also innovative especially with a goverment behind them, always have an advantage, as the gaming industry and others involved in tying to protect their works have shown, a defensive position is fundementally a losing battle. Albiet in this case it's not about an industry making billions and growing rapidly getting all butthurt, it's about national security and quite literally people's ways of life and the control of the globe.

That's what I think at any rate.

Hevva:

Select highlights of the document include tales of theft, such as when someone stole a laptop which NASA had been using to store the command and control algorithms for the International Space Station.

Suddenly I have the vivid image of a "Wargames" scenario in which a teenager jokes around with his buddies about crashing the ISS...

Well, did they mention the airline pilot they showed around their labs and let sit at mission control during a start? Because I'd say a crazy guy just claiming to be an agent getting this far is way worse than data stolen by professionals.

Therumancer:

Rainboq:
... Wait, WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU ATTACK/STEAL FROM/HACK NASA?!

NASA is one of the big creators of US technology that winds up going into other things other than space-craft/satellites and related projects.

China is also working on it's own space program, and has made it clear that it's very interested in putting missles in orbit in some of the domestic propaganda I've been reading. Not to mention that if you do a search for "China, Satellite, Lasers" or "Chinese Anti-Satellite Lasers" you'll run into a lot of articles dealing with how since around 2006 China hss has ground based laser systems capable of blinding US military satellites. A point that while covered by the associated press you'll notice has been overlooked by the left-leaning media due to it's peace at any price outlook. Doing something like this doubtlessly required in depth knowlege of US satellite technology and doubtlessly needs to be kept up with countermeasures... and the guys working on those countermeasures are probably going to be at NASA.

To be honest, China has a tendency to steal most of their technology, they innovate very little (which is not to say that they do not innovate anything at all) and it's been an increasing problem especially with the US and it's development starting to stagnate and slow down in terms of progress, as other nations catch up, or at least their upper echelons do, we aren't pulling ahead with new innovations at the pace we used to which makes thefts of this sort increasingly problematic.

while somewhat unrelated to the specific point of why someone would hack NASA (and China was mentioned) I will say that one of our problems as a country is that we tend to ignore outright acts of war far too easily. China's theft of military technology during Clinton's watch, hacking NASA and other systems, and outright piracy, the big issue prior to 9/11 was China intercepting a US Jet over international waters, forcing it to land, and then digging through it for technology to steal. The pilots were released, but it was a big deal at the time given how utterly crazy the whole idea was. Truthfully I sort of suspect a lot of people were actually happy for 9/11 because that forced a shift of attention away from something that probably should have lead to a global war.

Here is one article covering it, I picked a fairly left wing source to be fair:

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2001/apr2001/spy-a03.shtml

What this article glosses over is that the mid-air collision took place because the Chinese intercepted the plane and were in the process of threatening it, and the collision took place while our plane tried to head furhter out into international airspace while calling for reinforcements.

I've had my eyes on things like this for a very long time, and I actually find it kind of disturbing how quickly people forget.

At any rate, the big point isn't so much why would anyone want to hack NASA, it's more or less a matter of who wouldn't want to? That's probably where the most advanced tech on the planet is still under development (at least for the moment). China in paticular has been involved in a lot of bad behavior and techno-thefts with the US because we keep turning the other cheek, and if we're not going to send the military to try and make them stop, why shouldn't they continue to steal everything they can? Hacking is effectively penelty free for them since they are obviously going to ignore US law, and the only way to get the guys or force them to stop is pretty much to go to China and make them, which we aren't willing to do.

The thing is that saying NASA needs better security is kind of a joke, the laptop theft is a problem (irresponsibility of those with custody of the laptop) but electronically there is no such thing as invincible security, hackers, who are also innovative especially with a goverment behind them, always have an advantage, as the gaming industry and others involved in tying to protect their works have shown, a defensive position is fundementally a losing battle. Albiet in this case it's not about an industry making billions and growing rapidly getting all butthurt, it's about national security and quite literally people's ways of life and the control of the globe.

That's what I think at any rate.

Gonna take a couple o'hundred years for the US to pay back their debt to China. Unless the US declares war, China currently holds most of the good cards, no reason for them to initiate anything. I can understand their want to have means to fight back against the US, the American Military has had plans (And who knows, still have) Of how to take out the western nations in case of a total-war. Ofcourse it makes sense that China would also be prepared for such a scenario, and you would kid yourself if you doubt for a second that the US is not prepared for such a scenario. I think it is fair that China prepares means in which to defend and attack, its not like the US arent doing the exact same thing.

I dont think that preparations for possible wars is a concern for civilians, thats the reason we have militaries in the first place. Filling the people with idea's of how china is 'different' and how we should prepare to 'kill' them. (Seems to be what you want) Is a lot less productive than promoting peace and trade. Run a soceity on a need-to-know/want-to-know basis. Soceity doesnt need to know the US plans for an invasion of Brittain, they just as little has to /want to/ know the US-plans for counter-meassures on their sattelites against Chineese missiles.

Maybe 'you' are fixated with the differences of the east and the west, but honestly (Keep that to yourself). Dont start spreading stupid propaganda saying that we should not focus on the similiarities. But always prepare to hate them at a moments notice.

In case the US decides to give China the middle-finger due to some fcked up diplomatic scheme and a war starts, China has to get around the fact that the US army is far better equipped, for example by blinding their sattelites. Its logical from a military standpoint, and I'm not intimidated by it as there is no reason to be. Fearmongering will get us nowhere, thats what got us the muhhamed drawings and several stupid wars (recently) and thousands of wars (Throughout history)

Therumancer:

Rainboq:
... Wait, WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU ATTACK/STEAL FROM/HACK NASA?!

What this article glosses over is that the mid-air collision took place because the Chinese intercepted the plane and were in the process of threatening it, and the collision took place while our plane tried to head furhter out into international airspace while calling for reinforcements.

That article is either missing, or has false information left and right in it, plus what it doesn't say is actually larger than what it does say.

1. The collision occurred during routine training for the Chinese. Their pilot was actually not even completely qualified, and was on a training mission.

2. The EP3-E is actually much smaller than a 737. The EP-3E is based off of the P3-C Orion airframe, making it just over 100 feet long.

3. The collision was over 12 miles away from the Chinese coast, in international waters.

Of course, the details for 1 and 3 are known well enough, but weren't completely released to the public.

What later occurred was the aircraft was cut into much smaller pieces, loaded into a C-5 Hercules and then flown to Whidbey Island Washington to be reassembled.Most of the aircrew received secondary medical care after landing back in the US, and all of them were later returned to active duty in one form or another.

Hevva:
NASA Reveals Litany of Security Breaches

That's simple enough to fix. Simply recite the Rite of Activation and the Litany of Safeguards while going through the prescribed motions.
image
Seriously though, it's a rather sad state of affairs that NASA could learn a thing or two from the Adeptus Mechanicus.

"Knowledge is power. Guard it well."

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