And why not? Almost everyone else has this year. Spaceref has obtained an internal NASA memo that reveals the space agency suffered a data breach on October 23. The breach happened when an intruder gained access to a server containing the information of current and former NASA personnel, including social security numbers.
In the memo, NASA’s chief human capital officer Bob Gibbs told employees that while NASA knows the server was indeed accessed, they don’t yet know what information the intruder walked off with. One good thing is that NASA does not believe that any missions were jeopardized by the hack. The agency says it will also personally contact every former and past employee whose data was compromised in any way—once NASA knows the extent of the breach. You can read the full memo NASA sent to employees below:
Agency-wide Communications to Employees
On Oct. 23, 2018, NASA cybersecurity personnel began investigating a possible compromise of NASA servers where personally identifiable information (PII) was stored. After initial analysis, NASA determined that information from one of the servers containing Social Security numbers and other PII data of current and former NASA employees may have been compromised.
Upon discovery of the incidents, NASA cybersecurity personnel took immediate action to secure the servers and the data contained within. NASA and its Federal cybersecurity partners are continuing to examine the servers to determine the scope of the potential data exfiltration and identify potentially affected individuals. This process will take time. The ongoing investigation is a top agency priority, with senior leadership actively involved. NASA does not believe that any Agency missions were jeopardized by the cyber incidents.
This message is being sent to all NASA employees for awareness, regardless of whether or not your information may have been compromised. Those NASA Civil Service employees who were on-boarded, separated from the agency, and/or transferred between Centers, from July 2006 to October 2018, may have been affected. Once identified, NASA will provide specific follow-up information to those employees, past and present, whose PII was affected, to include offering identity protection services and related resources, as appropriate.
Our entire leadership team takes the protection of personal information very seriously. Information security remains a top priority for NASA. NASA is continuing its efforts to secure all servers, and is reviewing its processes and procedures to ensure that the latest security practices are being followed throughout the agency.