Houston, We Have a Problem: NASA Security Breached

By Rich Steeves November 15, 2012

The bad news is that a NASA laptop was stolen recently, resulting in a major security breach. The good news is that neither the Klingon nor Romulan Empires are implicated in the theft.

NASA employees faced a nasty trick (and certainly not a treat) on Halloween when they learned that a company laptop and documents were stolen from a locked car. According to Richard Keegan, Jr., associate deputy administrator for the agency, the laptop contained sensitive personal information about a large number of NASA employees and contractors.

"Although the laptop was password protected, it did not have whole disk encryption software, which means the information on the laptop could be accessible to unauthorized individuals," Keegan told employees in an e-mail. "We are thoroughly assessing and investigating the incident, and taking every possible action to mitigate the risk of harm or inconvenience to affected employees." 

Earlier in the year, another laptop theft occurred under NASA’s watch. The computer contained names, Social Security Numbers, e-mail addresses, dates of birth and other personal data of NASA employees.

In response to the breach, NASA has hired data breach experts to deal with the existing situation and has promised potential victims access to free credit and identity theft monitoring services. Going forward, NASA will now implement full disk encryption on all agency laptops. NASA has also instructed employees to cease removing computers from NASA facilities unless the devices are fully encrypted.

There is no word on whether the stolen laptops contain any information on the alien life forms working at NASA. Presumably, their personal information is stored on isolinear chips on a Defiant class starship cloaked and in orbit around the planet.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey

TechZone360 Web Editor

Related Articles

Death by Hedge Funds: Why Samsung is Run by Idiots and They Aren't Alone

By: Rob Enderle    10/12/2016

Samsung is certainly having a bad quarter. First their halo product the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 starts blowing up or catching fire and they attempted th…

Read More

Addressing the Third Party Threat: Five Financial Industry Takeaways from the SWIFT Hack

By: Special Guest    10/12/2016

It has now been several months since more than a dozen financial institutions associated with the Society for a Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecomm…

Read More

The Impact of Virtual Reality's Mainstream Evolution

By: Special Guest    10/12/2016

As virtual reality becomes more prevalent in both a business and personal setting, less expensive equipment is becoming more obtainable. This increase…

Read More

Google's Losing Temperament Won't Help With Phones

By: Doug Mohney    10/11/2016

For all of Google's strength in search and huge amounts of cash, it really has struggled to be a success beyond its core business. Last week's release…

Read More

Next-gen Workers: Stay Connected with Facebook's Workplace

By: Alicia Young    10/11/2016

In today's connected, mobile world, it's likely that you or someone you know works remotely. I'd be willing to bet that a good number of people at you…

Read More