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20091015

NASA's secrets are under siege.

As many other corporations, government departments, and private citizens have discovered - online security is not quite that easy. NASA is the latest to come out publicly and report that they are under cyber-siege.

NASA reported 1,120 security incidents that have resulted in the installation of malicious software on its systems and unauthorized access to sensitive information in fiscal years 2007 and 2008, according to a report issued Thursday by the Government Accountability Office. And, the GAO reports, National Aeronautics and Space Administration systems remain vulnerable despite the establishment of a security operation center last year to deter such incidents.

Trojans, worms, web browser hijackings, viruses, spam, and firewall penetrations are just a sampling of the vulnerabilities and attacks online entities are facing.

NASA spends less than 1% of its annual budget on security - about $15million. Clearly, this isn't nearly enough.

In 2007 and 2008, NASA reported 839 cases of malicious code, 209 cases of unauthorized access and 72 denial-of-service attacks to the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team. In February this year, 82 internal devices were found infected with the Seneka Rootkit that had been communicating with malicious servers since January. By March, three NASA centers were infected.

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