US reveals Nasa got hacked 'with DIY machine'

A new report from the US Office of the Inspector General has shown that even the most advanced organisations can get hacked, with Nasa falling victim to a breach last year.

According to the document, someone managed to connect a build-it-yourself Raspberry Pi computer to Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and was then able to steal up to 500 megabytes of data, including information on International Traffic in Arms Regulations from the Mars Science Laboratory mission.

It is not clear who was behind the attack, but the report described it as an advanced persistent threat and confirmed it went undetected for more than a year.

Once the breach was detected, the Johnson Space Centre in Houston was forced to disconnect its system for fear hackers could gain access to its mission programs and send malicious signals to human space flights.

The report blamed JPL's failure to segment its internal network and keep its IT security database updated for the breach. Nasa has since agreed to a plan to correct its cybersecurity deficiencies.

Nasa also experienced a data breach in October 2018, when an intruder stole employee-related information.

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