Blog Editor’s Note: Several interesting things about the below article:

  • A NASA facility monitoring the cyber-security of US satellites to ensure they don’t get hacked by adversary nation states is in Russia. NASA needs Russia to get people into space because the US doesn’t have the launch capability. So they don’t have any choice but to work very closely with Russia.
  • NASA says they had almost 1,500 cyber incidents last year.  
  • NASA says “It’s a matter of time before someone hacks into something in space.” Yet Brazilian hackers used US Navy communications satellites for their own purposes for years.  See item here

Outer-Space Hacking a Top Concern for NASA’s Cybersecurity Chief

By Nafeesa Syeed

12 April 2017

  • Space agency reported almost 1,500 ‘cyber incidents’ last year
  • U.S. teams monitor the networks at NASA’s offices in Russia

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NASA scientists glean valuable data about powerful space explosions and the energy of black holes from their Swift and Fermi satellites. The projects were supposed to last a few years. Instead, they’ve survived for more than a decade.

That’s great for researchers but a challenge for Jeanette Hanna-Ruiz because of the projects’ aging computer operating systems. As the space agency’s chief information security officer, she has to secure the data sent to and from planet Earth against cyberattacks.

“It’s a matter of time before someone hacks into something in space,” Hanna-Ruiz, 44, said in an interview at her office in Washington. “We see ourselves as a very attractive target.

Cybersecurity at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration extends from maintaining email systems at the agency’s Washington headquarters to guarding U.S. networks in Russia, where Americans serve on crews working with the International Space Station. The agency also has to protect huge amounts of in-house scientific data and the control systems at its 20 research centers, laboratories and other facilities in the U.S.

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