Monday, March 5, 2012

Chinese hackers 'had full control' over Nasa lab that commands 23 spacecraft

Chinese hackers gained 'full access' to the computer network in one of Nasa's key control centres, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

JPL manages 23 spacecraft conducting active space missions, including missions to Jupiter, Mars and Saturn.

The hackers, operating from an internet address in China, gained full system access in November 2011, allowing them to upload hacking tools to steal user IDs and control Nasa systems, as well as copy sensitive files.

The hackers were also able to modify system logs to conceal their actions.

‘The intruders had compromised the accounts of the most privileged JPL users, giving the intruders access to most of JPL's networks,’ said National Aeronautics and Space Administration Inspector General Paul Martin.

The cyber attack was one of 'thousands' of computer security lapses at the space agency.

Martin said the hackers gained full system access, which allowed them to modify, copy, or delete sensitive files, create new user accounts and upload hacking tools to steal user credentials and compromise other NASA systems. Read More