Friday, March 2, 2012

Stolen Nasa laptop 'contained the codes to control the International Space Station'

A Nasa notebook was stolen last year that contained the instructions for controlling the International Space Station, the Agency’s inspector general has revealed.

Paul K Martin told the U.S Congress yesterday in a testimony highlighting Nasa’s security challenges, that the notebook was one of 48 mobile computing devices belonging to the Agency that was lost or stolen between April 2009 and April 2011.

In a written report he said: ‘The March 2011 theft of an unencrypted Nasa notebook computer resulted in the loss of the algorithms used to command and control the International Space Station.

‘Other lost or stolen notebooks contained Social Security numbers and sensitive data on Nasa’s Constellation and Orion programs.

‘Moreover, 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.’

According to Mr Martin, Nasa reported 5,408 computer security incidents between 2010 and 2011. These involved either malicious software being installed or an unauthorised person accessing its systems. Read More