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

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Verizon, Oh Verizon, Where Are You Going?

By: Doug Mohney    2/23/2017

Last June, Verizon closed a $4.4 billion deal to buy AOL. Executives said the acquisition would enable the company to layer AOL's advertising strength…

Read More

AMD: The Time For Ryzen Has Arrived

By: Rob Enderle    2/23/2017

The Ryzen part is a powerful alternative to Intel's offering, which will result in several new, more powerful, and affordable systems for those that g…

Read More

Voice 2017 - Best of Times, Worst of Times

By: Doug Mohney    2/21/2017

Voice is in a unique position these days, judging from the conversations I've had over the past six weeks during CES and ITEXPO. Available quality is …

Read More

Needed: Better Location Tech for RideShare Services

By: Doug Mohney    2/21/2017

Uber, Lyft, and other ride services have pushed the bounds of location tech to the point of frustration for end-users, both drivers and customers alik…

Read More

Human Carrying Drones May Arrive in 2017

By: Rob Enderle    2/21/2017

There are a couple really big problems that will likely make human carrying drones more of a tourist attraction than a real solution for some time, bu…

Read More