GovLaunch: NASA computer containing sensitive commands for the ISS stolen

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    Corey McCarren
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    Nextgov reported Wednesday (2/29/2012) that a laptop containing sensitive information and algorithms used to control the International Space Station was stolen in March of 2011. The laptop was reportedly unencrypted, making it easy for the person who stole it to log in and retrieve the information. Paul Martin, Inspector General for NASA, revealed the loss in a written testimony during an investigation by the House Science, Space and Technology Committee. The outcome of losses such as this, Martin says, are:

    “significant disruption to mission operations … the theft of export-controlled and otherwise sensitive data,”

    Martin also said that total losses from hackers between 2010 and 2011 cost NASA over $7 million. Though the losses are very costly, Martin says losses at other agencies throughout the world are unknown, and may be much higher. Those hacking NASA computers could range from foreign spies to hackers showing off their skills.

    How detrimental do you think these losses are to national security? Do the losses show that NASA is nonchalant about security, or are these kind of mistakes inevitable due to human error.


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