Feeds

NASA sells PC with restricted Space Shuttle data

Disk wiping? We've heard of it

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

NASA officials failed to wipe sensitive agency data from computers before releasing them to the public, a violation of procedures that are part of the plan to securely end the Space Shuttle program, an audit released on Tuesday said.

Kennedy Space Center in Florida – one of four NASA sites with reported weaknesses in the disposition process – cleared the release of 14 computers to the public that had failed tests to verify data had been destroyed, the report found. Of the four that remained in NASA's possession, one contained Space Shuttle related data that was subject to export control by the International Traffic in Arms Regulations. The audit, prepared by NASA's Inspector General, covered a 12-month period starting in June 2009.

“The weaknesses we identified in NASA's IT sanitization policy and procedures put NASA at risk of releasing sensitive information that could cause harm to its mission and violate federal laws and regulations that protect such information,” the report stated.

The investigators also found hard drives that were missing from Kennedy and the Langley Research Center in Virginia. Some of the hard drives were later found inside a publicly accessible dumpster.

Inspectors also found “several pallets of computers” at a disposal facility that still “contained external markings with NASA's Internet Protocol addresses.” The report concluded that the lapses stemmed from a combination of of inadequacies in NASA policy and failures to comply with that policy.

NASA's chief information officer has already agreed to update the sanitization policy, but even that didn't fully satisfy inspectors.

“Moreover, we are troubled that management's response does not reflect the sense of urgency we believe is required to address the serious security issues uncovered by our audit,” the report continued. “Accordingly, we consider the recommendations to be unresolved.”

A PDF of the report is here. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.