Cyber Attack on NASA Spiked 366% in 2019

The cyber incident in NASA has increased nearly by 366%, and from 2018 to 2019, there was a rapid growth in the cyberattacks, according to one of the most well renowned federal agencies, Atlas VPN.

The whole incident was associated with the improper usage and deployment of careless security methods. These issues are becoming big as random attacks in NASA will surely affect the intellectual property, national security, and individuals whose data could be lost due to data breaches. 

But, according to the reports of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NASA is currently increasing its security system, which is the main cause of this kind of vulnerability.

While, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) also reported that there was a whole of 1,468 cyber conflicts were recorded at NASA in the year 2019, moreover, OMB also evaluates the government companies as well in a yearly basis. 

Moreover, the same office is also liable for producing and managing the implementation of strategies, rules, and guidelines on cybersecurity in federal agencies. Well, rather than these conflicts, there are also some different conflicts were reported like email attacks.

Well, email attacks are one of the most common conflicts that occur in public companies, but there are only a few cases of Email attacks in NASA were reported, and here the actual cause of this type of conflict is improper usage of the service. 

Last year NASA reinforced that its Jet Propulsion Laboratory had been hacked after someone at NASA attached an unauthorized Raspberry Pi to JPL servers. And this unauthorized connection leads the hackers to pass from JPL servers to NASA’s Deep Space Network array of radio telescopes.

Apart from this, all these security incidents have also affected the security budget of NASA, as the Department of Defense (DOD) sustained nearly 50% of the federal cybersecurity funds in 2019, which is above $8.5 billion.

But, if we compare the budget of 2019 with 2018, then as per the report of DOD in 2019, there was an extra budget, which was nearly $479 million. Thus, these sought conflicts eat up most of the budget that was planned to use in the development of IT structure.

Here, the agency needs to develop in all departments like technological diversity, geographical decentralization of government networks that are leading the digital security. But, here we can’t deny also that the rapid growth of these cyberattacks are damaging the public agencies and putting every possible challenge that are becoming difficult to fulfill due to the budget. 

The increasing rate of cyber incidents in NASA may have a negative impact as there will be a decrease in the cybersecurity budget. And such growth in cyber attacks is alarming, especially when nation state-sponsored attacks rose from 12% to 23%. 

More importantly, federal agencies still run on operations that are supported by outdated languages, and these systems require extra funds for maintaining it yearly. Therefore, NASA should focus on managing all its departments so that it will lead to a decrease in cyber attacks.

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BALAJI is an Ex-Security Researcher (Threat Research Labs) at Comodo Cybersecurity. Editor-in-Chief & Co-Founder - Cyber Security News & GBHackers On Security.