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Hacker scalps NASA-run websites

Pulling a McKinnon

Security for virtualized datacentres

Miscreants took advantage of weak security to hack into two NASA-run websites over the weekend.

The websites of NASA's Instrument Systems and Technology unit and Software Engineering division were broken into and screenshots illustrating the hack posted online. Hackers appear to have taken advantage of SQL Injection flaws and poor access controls in mounting the attack, reports Gunter Ollmann, an ex-IBM security expert who is now VP of Research at security firm Damballa.

Obfuscated screenshots from the hack were subsequently posted onto a full disclosure mailing list (here).

The motives and perpetrators of the attack remain unclear at the time of writing. Messing around with sites run by the space agency is a risky business for hackers, as Gary McKinnon and others have discovered, though whether anything will happen over the latest break-in is unclear. ®

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