Nasa cyber chief claims it's only a matter of time before hackers target space missions

Nasa cyber chief claims it's only a matter of time before hackers target space missions

Nasa's cyber chief is concerned about hackers (Stock image)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The chief information officer for IT security at Nasa has said it's only a matter of time before hackers target space missions.

Jeanette Hanna-Ruiz believes nation-state government adversaries and cyber attackers will target Nasa's space exploration technology.

She told Bloomberg her strategy for the next year is to improve Nasa's focus on cyber security and gain greater control of its internal network.

Hanna-Ruiz says a great concern for Nasa is that one day someone could take over the controls of an active satellite mission.

She thinks it would be possible as most people working there would be "focused on getting this particular thing to space."

But she added: "The truth is I don't know if I want [those working at Nasa] to be thinking about security. I want them to be excited and passionate about going to space."

The IT chief also explained that communications sent between spacecraft and bases could be intercepted.

Last year, more than 10,000 machines at Nasa were found to be infected with malware.

But Hanna-Ruiz reassured the public that cyber security teams at Nasa are constantly searching for vulnerabilities and bugs to keep the agency safe.