After losing another laptop containing sensitive information from its facilities, NASA wants to have all of its laptops encrypted within a month’s time. This is not the first incident of its kind, the latest incident had occurred on 31 October. On 31st October, a laptop and documents were stolen from a locked vehicle of one of its employees at NASA headquarters in Washington DC. The cause for worry is that the information in the laptop is not encrypted and NASA believes that the hackers can access this information easily.
Linda Cureton, NASA’s chief information officer said that with immediate effect laptops containing information about the following topics could only leave its buildings if the relevant data was encrypted:
- the international sale or transport of weapons, nuclear equipment or other materials that fall under the US’s export administration regulations
- information about NASA’s human resources
- other “sensitive but unclassified” data
The security breach left “at least” 10,000 employees and contractors are at risk due to the information contained on the laptop. The agency’s spokesperson Allard Beutel said:
“NASA immediately began working with local law enforcement after the laptop was stolen, with the goal of recovering the computer and protecting the sensitive data. At the same time, NASA IT specialists and security officials began performing an exhaustive automated and manual analysis of the data to make sure everyone with information on the stolen laptop is notified.”