One day after McAfee warned about the dangers of corporations becoming vulnerable to hackers, we now learn that Nasa has similar concerns. Its inspector general, Paul Martin, has written a report [PDF] entitled “Security Practices Expose Key Nasa Network To Cyber Attack,” and you can guess what that means. Actually, don’t bother guessing. The report warns that six of Nasa’s servers that just so happen to contain critical data are vulnerable to remote attack. And if a hacker were so inclined, he could exploit those vulnerabilities to get further inside Nasa, wreaking all sorts of havoc (say, “cripple Nasa’s operations”) in the process. Again, panic.
The report criticizes Nasa for both not recognizing or doing much of anything to address these problems. Head in the sand, la-la-la nothing’s happening, nothing’s happening, that kind of thing.
Oh: the inspector general made these same warnings last year, and Nasa, apparently, hasn’t done a darn thing to address the situation.
Then again, given that Nasa has the budget of the average lemonade stand it’s probably not too surprising to learn that it has to be selective where it applies its resources.
But don’t worry! Nasa says that it will now take Martin’s reports to heart, and that it will do something to make sure evildoers don’t cause any mischief.