A Romanian hacker known as TinKode has broken into the FTP server of Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center and published a screenshot as proof.
During the hack, TinKode captured and posted a screenshot to his blog Tuesday, claiming that it came from an FTP server of NASA's Earth Observation System, the center's disaster relief system, at the Goddard Space Flight Center. The screenshot shows files connected to NASA's SERVIR program, which uses satellite data to obtain information on climate change, health risks and disaster relief efforts.
Thus far, it is unclear how TinKode broke into NASA's FTP server, although it doesn't appear that the hacker has exploited the vulnerability to conduct any malicious activity.
TinKode boasted of the hack Tuesday on Twitter. "NASA Goddard Space Flight Center--Hacked) 1 Server Access."
TinKode is best known for previous hacking attacks against the MYSQL.com servers in March, and broke into the servers of the European Space Agency in April, after which he published a list of FTP accounts, email addresses and administrative passwords. The hacker did not, however, publicly publish exploit code.
NASA's Rob Gutro, deputy news chief at the spaceflight center, confirmed the breach at Goddard Space Flight Center , but said the hack initially occurred in April.
"The necessary steps were taken to protect the infrastructure at that time," Gutro told SecurityNewsDaily, adding, "NASA doesn't discuss the details of our IT security but remains vigilant to secure the security of our sites."
TinKode told Network World that he alerted NASA's webmaster immediately following the hack, while maintaining that he engaged in hacking activities in an effort to expose security vulnerabilities, not to launch malicious or information stealing attacks.
Meanwhile, the breach against NASA servers comes just a few months after a negative audit revealed critical security vulnerabilities in the space agency's computer systems that leave it vulnerable to malicious external attacks such as denial of service, sabotage and data theft.