The last time I wrote about NASA in a hacking context, it was concerning the Jet Propulsion Laboratory network coming under attack from threat actors. Now the alleged hacking action is said to have actually taken place from space itself. It has been reported that NASA is investigating an accusation that an astronaut accessed a bank account belonging to an estranged spouse; while aboard the International Space Station. If the allegations of identity theft and improper account access turn out to be accurate, this could be the first cybercrime committed off-planet.
Why is NASA investigating space hacking claims?
Anne McClain, a former U. S. Army pilot who flew more than 800 combat hours during Operation Iraqi Freedom before joining NASA in 2013, has been accused of identity theft and improper access to private financial records.
The New York Times report details how Summer Worden, Anne McClain’s estranged spouse, put her skills as a former U.S. Air Force intelligence officer to work when she suspected McClain had been accessing her bank account. Having contacted her bank for details of the locations of logins to the account, Worden discovered one of the computers, where her login credentials were used from, was registered to NASA.
McClain was aboard the International Space Station at the time, due to be part of the ill-fated all-female spacewalk, and putting two and two together led Worden to the conclusion that she had found her bank account hacker.