Tech

Hackers Claim They Stole NASA Data And Took Control Of Drone

REUTERS/Pawel Kopczynski

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter

Hacktivist group AnonSec claims to have taken control of a drone and leaked data from compromised National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) computers for the specific purpose of proving the chemtrail conspiracy theory.

AnonSec released 250 gigabytes of data that they claim were taken from NASA systems to the internet Monday. The group claims to have removed indicators of their presence on NASA’s network, making it very difficult to know precisely what happened. AnonSec has publicly stated that they gave copies of the encrypted data to Wikileaks and The Guardian. The swiped records allegedly include the names, numbers and email addresses of 2,414 NASA staff, as well as thousands of flight logs from the space agency’s fleet of aircraft.

NASA and computer security experts have stated that much of the information obtained by AnonSec was already public.

“[T]his is just a claim at this stage and that is very important for people to understand,” James Scott, senior fellow and co-founder of the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“The information they are giving, for example the employee list for NASA, can be created with even a basic windows operating system exploit so the list doesn’t prove anything,” Scott said. “The screenshots that are supposedly from the drones flight pattern can easily be fraudulently designed. The website that ‘broke’ this story is not so reliable either.”

The group does not appear to have breached NASA systems through a cyber-attack, but instead purchased access through the deep web from a hacker who had “knowledge of NASA servers.” This allegedly gave the group a default administrative password, which they used to acquire the information. The hackers claim they used this access to seize control of a multimillion dollar GlobalHawk research drone, which they attempted to crash into the Pacific Ocean.

“That said, if this is a legit breach by the hacktivist group AnonSec, it is another painful reminder that multi factor authentication, user behavioral analytics, user behavioral biometrics and multilayered encryption of information in transit and stationary are the beginning to proper cyber security hygiene nowadays,” Scott continued.

“So yeah, we know what you’re thinking, hacking NASA? How f*cking cliche… If only I had a Dogecoin for every time someone claimed that, amiright,” the AnonSec wrote in an online posting. “It’s like the boy who cried wolf but with hacking NASA instead lol. But you might be surprised how low govt security standards can be, especially with a limited budget and clueless boomers controlling the network.”

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