Ex NASA Person Arrested for selling secrets
Stewart Nozette—a former NASA scientist renowned for helping discover proof that there is water on the moon—had just been charged last Tuesday on grounds of attempting to sell top secret data regarding US military satellite systems to Israel. The fifty-two-year-old Maryland resident was arrested during an FBI sting wherein an agent posed as an Israeli intelligence officer who was ready to purchase the traitorous NASA scientist's clandestine security knowledge.
Federal prosecutors reported that Nozette demanded cash
and a new Israeli passport in exchange for his satellite-related leak, which he obtained while working for NASA with a high security clearance. The charges themselves were sent on Monday, which was just a couple of days shy of the Government Accountability Office's allegations to congress regarding the US space agency's failure to satisfactorily defend its computer networks against hostile nations, cyber terrorists, and hackers. The eye-opening report from the government watchdog agency listed a long inventory of inadequacies, which includes a lack of methods to verify users who access the susceptible NASA database.
The report concluded that these shortcomings make it easy for intruders (or disgruntled contractor and government employees) to disable or bypass computer access restraints and attempt an assortment of criminal or malicious actions. As such, the NASA information containment system suffers from preventable risks that leaves sensitive data open to unauthorized access, destruction, modification, and disclosure to the point that mission operations could very well be interrupted.
The paper further claims that NASA systems and networks have been successfully penetrated by hackers in the past. More to the point, during the last two years (2007 and 2008), a staggering one thousand one hundred twenty incidents have resulted in illegal virtual break-ins, information theft, and malware being installed into the space agency's data warehouse. NASA only established a stable security operations center to address these problems and prevent future cyber attacks just last year. Although this was an important step in protecting their networks from further invasions, the government-funded bureau still faces a lot of vulnerabilities, deficiencies, and weaknesses.
The report stresses that NASA still hasn't completely implemented verification of its information security program, which would have certified that their protection and security protocols are suitably developed and working efficiently. Despite the organization's efforts to tackle its past security blunders, NASA as a whole is still defenseless against hacker attacks and system compromises.