In a shocking development, Chinese hackers broke into the internet security cordon of the NASA’s websites and took control of the USA’s prestigious space mission centre Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) last November.
This was disclosed in a report released by Paul K. Martin, NASA’s inspector general on Wednesday.
The report said the Chinese hackers could have tampered with sensitive files, damaged user accounts to mission critical systems and up loaded several hacking tools. The report added that investigation has revealed the involvement of Chinese based Internet Protocol (IP) addresses.
“The attackers had full functional control over these networks,” Martin said in his report.
JPL, seen as the jewel in NASA's space technology crown, manages several space missions such as the GRAIL mission to study the moon, the upcoming Mars Science Laboratory and the prestigious Deep Space Network.
The report, explaining the cyber security invasions, was submitted to the concerned House Committee on Wednesday.
In another development, a theft has taken place at one of the space mission centers at NASA premises and the intruders made their escape good with a laptop containing algorithms used to command and control the International Space Station (ISS).
NASA said in its report that it has been struggling to improve the cyber security at its space mission centers. (J)