NASA said hackers broke into its computer systems 13 times last year, stealing employee credentials and gaining access to mission-critical projects in breaches that could compromise U.S. national security.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration spends only $58 million of its $1.5 billion annual IT budget on cyber security, Paul Martin, the agency’s inspector general, told a Congressional panel on NASA security earlier this week.
“Some NASA systems house sensitive information which, if lost or stolen, could result in significant financial loss, adversely affect national security, or significantly impair our nation’s competitive technological advantage,”
He said the agency discovered in November that hackers working through a Chinese-based IP address broke into the network of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
He said they gained full system access, which allowed them to modify, copy, or delete sensitive files.
Unencrypted notebook computers that have been lost or stolen include ones containing codes for controlling the International Space Station as well as sensitive data on NASA’s Constellation and Orion programs and Social Security numbers, Martin said.