ABSTRACT

Information Security: Many NASA Mission-Critical Systems Face Serious Risks, Report to the Committee on Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate   [open pdf - 764KB]

"The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) relies on automated information systems to support a wide range of important and costly operations. In fiscal year 1998 NASA estimated that it spent $1.7 billion on information systems, including those critical to such activities as human space flight, scientific and technological development, and matters of international cooperation for the advancement of science. [...] Tests we conducted at one of NASA's 10 field centers showed that some of NASA's mission-critical systems at that center are vulnerable to unauthorized access. Although some of the systems we targeted had effective security mechanisms that prevented us from gaining access, we successfully penetrated several mission-critical systems, including one responsible for calculating detailed positioning data for earth orbiting spacecraft and another that processes and distributes the scientific data received from these spacecraft. Having obtained access to these systems, we could have disrupted NASA's ongoing command and control operations and stolen, modified, or destroyed system software and data."

Report Number:
GAO/AIMD-99-47
Publisher:
Date:
1999-05
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
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