Hacker Obtains Shuttle Design Files, Baffling NASA

Discussion in 'File Sharing' started by wessman, Aug 12, 2002.

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  1. wessman

    wessman Zeropaid News Junkie

    August 12, 2002
    Hacker Obtains Shuttle Design Files, Baffling NASA

    If America's rocket scientists can't keep their data under wraps, who can?

    Cybercrime investigators for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration are trying to figure out how 43 megabytes of sensitive design data about planned space vehicles got into the hands of a hacker — and then into the hands of a reporter.

    Dan Verton, a reporter with ComputerWorld, said he received the electronic documents — including a 15-slide PowerPoint presentation on space shuttle design that had detailed engineering drawings — from a 23-year-old hacker known by the nickname RaFa. The hacker, who says he is based in Latin America, has made a name for himself among his peers through a series of network break-ins and Web site defacements. Mr. Verton became friendly with RaFa during research for his 2002 book, "The Hacker Diaries: Confessions of Teenage Hackers" (McGraw-Hill/Osborn Media).

    The documents included mechanical design information from a space shuttle engine program known as Cobra, which stands for Co-Optimized Booster for Reusable Applications, as well as plans for diagnostic and maintenance systems and ground control information. The documents were created by businesses like the Boeing Company and a space propulsion joint venture between Aerojet, a subsidiary of GenCorp, and Pratt & Whitney, a unit of the United Technologies Corporation.

    Although it is unlikely that the documents could be used to damage the space program, a spokesman for NASA, Brian Dunbar, said that the group of documents "is sensitive information, and it's in a closed database" that should have prevented intrusion. He could not say how the intruder gained access, but said that computer security was "obviously something that we have to be concerned about, and it's an ongoing issue."

    RaFa, in an interview conducted by e-mail, confirmed that he had broken into the NASA network and copied the documents. He said, "I didn't realize how sensitive the docs were until I saw Dan Verton's story." In the past, he said, his goal would have been "to prove how they spent money trying to secure their system and still vuln" (meaning vulnerable).

    These days, he added, "I'm a researcher."

  2. Foreverboard

    Foreverboard Alien in Penguin suit....

    nothing is ever totaly secure nowadays.
  3. psychotronic420

    psychotronic420 P2P Deadhead

    Those files were probably on one of the hard drives of the stolen laptops, that they reported on a while back.................

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