The group of hackers-activists, who identified themselves as AnonSec, shared 250 Gb of data stolen from NASA, and stated that they managed to hijack the drone used by the organization for the study of the upper atmospheric layers.
Among the published data were revealed the names, postal and email addresses of 2414 agency staff members as well as more than 2 thousand flight logs and 600 flights videos with various aircrafts.
According to hackers, the mission “Hacking NASA” was not so difficult.
“You’d be surprised how low have fallen the safety standards of government agencies due to budget constraints and the incompetence of the specialists responsible for the work of networks” – something like this begins a detailed story of hackers about breaking into NASA.
AnonSec’s members didn’t hacked the NASA’s employee computer, they simply bought an access from another hacker. Although a hacked account doesn’t have administrator rights, AnonSec decided to do everything possible to find a loophole in the agency network.
The compromised machine was running fully updated and patched version of Debian, but hackers managed to enter the other computers connected to the network, some of which had bugs. The task was greatly facilitated by the use of weak passwords: a simple scan for accounts with login and password “root”, was completed successfully by 0.32 seconds and right after that attackers were able to map the NASA network subsystems.
Through simple manipulations hackers gained access to the networks of Glenn Research Center, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and Dryden Flight Research Center. The main purpose of hacking has been the collection of data about an artificial dissipation of clouds and other studies conducted by NASA in the field of weather modification. According to members of Anonsec, NASA has managed to equip several missions for the study of “the effects of spraying aerosols on the environment and the weather”. Hackers believe that such government studies contribute to air and soil contamination by heavy metals, which adversely affects the crop production and human health, and proofs of this theory, according to hackers, became a main reason of attack.
Additionally, notorious GMO seeds manufacturer Monsanto, also suffered from hackers’ attack. AnonSec accused the manufacturer of collusion with the government. As follows from facts, NASA really explores the impact of the acceleration of dispersal of clouds in the upper atmospheric layers. Yet, there is no evidence that the organization is spraying substances that threaten human health and agriculture.
The hackers also claim that they hijacked the done Global Hawk, which was at the Pacific Ocean during the alleged attack. As they say in their message, the security of the drone is very poor, the backup flight plan is stored in the drone’s systems as .gpx file, which was replaced by attackers, to provoke a crash. However, hackers’ plan was not realized: employees, who were controlling the drone noticed that it has deviated from the set course and transferred it to manual control.