It seems that we can't have nice, unhacked things. According to Gizmodo, someone has hacked NASA's personnel database to gain access to social security numbers and other personal information of the space agency's staff.
News of the security breach was only disseminated via memo to NASA's employees on December 18th, despite the fact that the agency became aware of the hack back on October 23rd.
According to the memo, NASA is working with federal investigators to determine the extent of the breach and who might be responsible. It said that servers were accessed that contained the personal information of employees that worked at the agency between July 2006 and October 2018. The message was sent to inform employees to take the necessary precautions to prevent possible identity theft. It seems that investigators still haven't narrowed down the employees who may have been effected, however the agency promised to notify individuals as that information becomes available.
When contacted for comment by Gizmodo, a NASA spokesperson could not say exactly how many employees' information was potentially exposed, but they did confirm that the agency "does not believe that any agency missions were jeopardized by the intrusions."
If anyone knows who's responsible for the hack, they're keeping their mouths shut about it. Hacking's so hot right now — the breach could have been pulled off by anyone from a code-savvy lone-acting lady at a coffee shop to a high-falootin' government sponsored collective in Eastern Europe. Also, China. It'll be interesting to see what, if anything, is done with information that was obtained during the hack.
Image via Flickr, courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center