A hacking group named “AnonSec” has recently claimed to have hacked the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). They supported their allegation by publishing over 276GB of sensitive data which includes 631 video feeds from the Aircraft & Weather Radars; 2,143 Flight Logs and credentials of 2,414 NASA employees, including e-mail addresses and contact numbers.

NASA logo at the Kennedy Space Center. Florida
NASA logo at the Kennedy Space Center. Florida

AnonSec along with the Anonymous Hacking Group alleged to have hijacked the Global Hawking drone using a MitM, Man in the Middle attack, to allow them to gain control over the drone and possibly re-route the flight path to crash it in the Pacific Ocean. The drone is specialized in Surveillance Operations, high-altitude, long-duration data collection and is worth $222.7 million.

 “Zine” is the name of the self-published paper that was released by AnonSec as a way to explain the magnitude of the major network breach that compromised NASA systems and their motives behind the attack. The paper also details how AnonSec did it. The paper reveals that AnonSec purchased an “initial foothold” in 2013 from a hacker with a good knowledge of NASA’s server. Due to a weak password policy and by using a “Bruteforcing” technique, they were able to get into the network with no major efforts whatsoever. Using a hidden packet sniffer, the group gained more login information allowing them to discover details of public and private missions. The group also claimed to successfully infiltrate into the Goddard Space Flight Center, the Glenn Research Center, and the Dryden Research Center.

The paper also reveals the disagreement the group had when there was an intention to crash the drone in the Pacific Ocean. Some of them were afraid that if it succeeded, they would be considered “terrorists” for possibly crashing a $222.7m US drone but they went with their plan anyway.

NASA Denies; the drone was never compromised

“Control of our Global Hawk aircraft was not compromised. NASA has no evidence to indicate the alleged hacked data are anything other than already publicly available data. NASA takes cybersecurity very seriously and will continue to fully investigate all of these allegations.”

And this is why AnonSec did it, or so they say;

“One of the main purposes of the Operation was to bring awareness to the reality of Chemtrails/Cloud Seeding/Geoengineering/Weather Modification, whatever you want to call it, they all represent the same thing. NASA even has several missions dedicated to studying Aerosols [sic] and their effects on the environment and weather, so we targeted their systems.”