NASA's Mars 2020 Rover Gets Its Space Legs, Wheels

Katie Ramirez
June 23, 2019

A photo recently snapped by NASA's Curiosity rover, which roams the vast wind-swept expanses of Mars, has captured the sight of a peculiar phenomenon which looks like a flash of white light of unclear origin. The Raspberry Pi used to access the network was not approved and had not been documented in JPL's security database. The report determined that in April 2018, hackers were able to access JPL's system by targeting an unauthorized Raspberry Pi that had been connected to the lab's network.

A report says hackers stole data from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena for almost a year without being detected.

Following news of the data breach a year ago, the Johnson Space Center in Houston immediately disconnected from JPL and Deep Space Network's systems in order to protect NASA's other programs, such as those used by the International Space Station. OIG said in its report that JPL "has experienced several notable cybersecurity incidents that have compromised major segments of its IT network" in the last decade, with the April 2018 hack being "used to steal approximately 500 megabytes of data from one of its major mission systems".

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Today we have a report that Vincent Pang, President of Huawei's Western European Region, has confirmed a September launch date. Corroborating previous leaks, one of the duo will be 5G enabled, while the other with no 5G will get a unique camera system.

NASA has a way of releasing information about its exploits weeks after they occurred, and that was the case this week, when the agency showed images taken on June 13 of the wheels of the rover being installed together with the starboard legs. It also highlighted the major security lapses that were present in NASA's network for about a decade and made the breach possible.

"The device should not have been permitted on the JPL network without the JPL OCIO's review and approval", the OIG said. Such a poor security setup could potentially allow hackers to gain access and initiate "malicious signals to human space flight missions".

NASA is a one-stop solution for most of us, when we want to keep tabs on everything space and science related. In a statement sent to its employees, NASA stated that an unknown intruder illegally gained access to one of its servers that stores current and former employees' Personally Identifiable Information (PII), including the social security numbers.

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