Wednesday, February 03, 2016

NASA Global Hawk was Probably NOT Hacked

A group of hackers claims to have broken into the computer systems of NASA, stealing hours of on-board footage from the agency’s fleet of aircraft, hundreds of data logs from its weather and climate missions, as well as a list of names, phone numbers and emails of more than 2,400 employees.

The hackers dumped the allegedly stolen data online on Sunday, along with a long, rambling “zine” where they explained how they obtained the more than 250 GB of files. One of the group’s administrators told Motherboard that they were actually able to steal as much as 1 TB of data, but couldn’t upload it all.

The hackers, which call themselves AnonSec, also claimed to have taken “semi-partial control” of a NASA drone in a failed attempt to crash it into the ocean. In a manifesto accompanying the dump, the hackers explained that they were able to replace a file with the drone’s pre-planned route with their own route. NASA denied this ever happened, and an expert told Motherboard it’s highly unlikely they ever gained control of the drone, and that the file was probably just used to indicate waypoints for the drone operator.

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