NASA data breach hits personal information of both current and former employees

NASA says that none of its missions were jeopardised due to the breach in October 2018.

Like things couldn’t get any worse with the number of data breach incidents we’ve seen this year, even NASA wasn’t spared – the US Space agency revealed on 18 December that it was hacked earlier this year.

Personal data which belonged to both current and former employees at NASA were compromised earlier this year in October.

As reported by the publication ZDNet, NASA sent an internal memo which was sent to all its employees explaining what had happened.

Rocket Labs is launching CubeSats for NASA. Image: RocketLabs

Rocket Labs is launching CubeSats for NASA. Image: RocketLabs

The intimation wasn’t prompt – even after having discovered the data breach back in October, NASA only admitted now, two months later, in December. The people who carried out the hacking are unknown, says the space agency.

The memo does say that none of the NASA missions were jeopardised due to the breach.

Top officials are currently investigating the matter.

“Upon discovery of the incidents, NASA cybersecurity personnel took immediate action to secure the servers and the data contained within. NASA and its Federal cybersecurity partners are continuing to examine the servers to determine the scope of the potential data exfiltration and identify potentially affected individuals. This process will take time,” says the memo.

Employees who were working, or separated from it, or transferred between Centers, from the time period of July 2006 to October 2018 have been affected, and once NASA identifies the individual, it will send follow up information to them so that they can include identity protection services.

This is not the first time that NASA has been hacked though – as many as 13 separate major network security breaches took place in 2011 and a group of hackers were able to break into NASA’s network attempting to bring down a drone worth $222 million.

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