On 18th June, NASA Office of Inspector General reveals on a report that in April 2018 hackers breached the agency's network and stole approximately 500 MB of data related to Mars missions. That was connected through a Raspberry Pi device to the IT network of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) without authorization or going through the proper security review.
NASA explained that the hackers as an "advanced persistent threat" generally used for nation-state hacking groups.
The OIG report of a 49-page described the hackers used an unauthorized Raspberry Pi computer connected to the JPL servers, then moved laterally further into the NASA network. According to the report, the hackers apparently got as far as the Deep Space Network (DSN) array of radio telescopes and numerous other JPL systems.
Raspberry Pi is a tiny device loaded with high-level capabilities. It can be used to easily deceive and exploit a system. It is relatively small and easy-to-handle device - that's why it's very popular. Hackers use it instead of many other advanced gadgets to fulfill their nefarious objectives.
The hacker breached two of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s main networks and steal as much as 500 megabytes of data from 23 files. Two of those files included International Traffic in Arms Regulations information related to the Mars Science Laboratory mission, which includes the Curiosity rover.
After getting the hacking report, the Johnson Space Center in Houston disconnected its system from JPL’s exploited gateway because of fears that the hacker could move into its mission systems also. The Johnson Space Center stopped using the networks as a precaution.
For now, it’s not clearly said that who connected the Raspberry Pi computer inside JPL or who was behind the cyber attack.
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