Hackers had 'full functional control' of Nasa computers
Hackers gained "full functional control" of key Nasa computers in 2011, the agency's inspector general has told US lawmakers.
Paul K Martin said hackers took over Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) computers and "compromised the accounts of the most privileged JPL users".
He said the attack, involving Chinese IP addresses, was under investigation.
In a statement, Nasa said it had "made significant progress to protect the agency's IT systems".
Mr Martin's testimony on Nasa's cybersecurity was submitted to the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology's Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight.
State of security
In the document, he outlined how investigators believed the attack had involved "Chinese-based internet protocol [IP] addresses".
He said that the attackers had "full system access" and would have been able to "modify, copy, or delete sensitive files" or "upload hacking tools to steal user credentials and compromise other Nasa systems".
Mr Martin outlined how the agency suffered "5,408 computer security incidents" between 2010 and 2011.
He also noted that "between April 2009 and April 2011, Nasa reported the loss or theft of 48 Agency mobile computing devices".
In one incident an unencrypted notebook computer was lost containing details of the algorithms - the mathematical models - used to control the International Space Station.
Nasa told the BBC that "at no point in time have operations of the International Space Station been in jeopardy due to a data breach".
Mr Martin said Nasa was a "target-rich environment for cyber attacks".
He said that the motivation of the hackers ranged from "individuals testing their skill to break into Nasa systems, to well-organized criminal enterprises hacking for profit, to intrusions that may have been sponsored by foreign intelligence services".
But while Mr Martin criticised aspects of Nasa's cybersecurity he noted investigations had resulted in "arrests and convictions of foreign nationals in China, Great Britain, Italy, Nigeria, Portugal, Romania, Turkey, and Estonia".
Nasa said it was working to implement the security improvements Mr Martin suggested in his testimony.
However the chairman of the congressional subcommittee, Rep Paul Broun, quoted in an online report of proceedings, said: "Despite this progress, the threat to Nasa's information security is persistent, and ever changing. Unless Nasa is able to constantly adapt - their data, systems, and operations will continue to be endangered."
Accra Polytechnic ready for technical university takeoffSunday, January 25, 2015 Accra Polytechnic is ready for the takeoff of government's policy to convert polytechnics into technical universities in September, 2016. Professor Sylvester Achio, Accra Polytechnic Rector, described the concept as laudable, and that the institution was working around the clock to address avo ...
Samsung grooms young footballers at 'Dream Camp'Sunday, January 25, 2015 As part of efforts to support African football, leading mobile phone manufacturer, Samsung has unveiled its 'I See Your Dream' campaign. This is aimed at helping the youth in pursuing soccer in Africa during the ongoing Orange African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Equatorial Guinea. As part of the ...
We are educated but not skilled - Ghana Employers AssociationSunday, January 25, 2015 Ghana Employers Association (GEA) has suggested that productivity levels in the public service can be improved if employees change their attitude towards work and sharpen their skills. Chief Executive of the GEA Alex Frimpong noted that although there is an explosion of educated people and opport ...
Agbakope pupils displaced after heavy rains damage classroomsSunday, January 25, 2015 Several residents of Agbakope in the South Tongu District of the Volta Region have been displaced as a result of Saturday's torrential rainfall. Heavy winds buffeted buildings during a thunderstorm which ripped the roofs of several buildings and dealt severe damage to other properties, forcing re ...
Curfews in Northern,Volta regions renewedSunday, January 25, 2015 Government has renewed the curfew imposed on three conflict areas in the Northern and Volta regions. The areas include Nakpanduri and its environs, Bimbilla as well as the Alavanyo and Nkonya townships. In a statement Interior Minister, Mark Woyongo indicated the curfew was renewed based on th ...