NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) network was infiltrated by a cyber attack using a $35 small computer called "Raspberry Pi".
The hacker managed to steal about 500 megabytes of data, including two files from the Mars Science Laboratory Mission, which was responsible for managing Curiosity Rover on Mars. This event dates back to 2018 and was discovered only a few months later. According to a report released by NASA's Office of the Inspector General, an investigation is underway to find out the authors of the cyber attacks.
Among the breaches, in addition to the Mars mission document, there is information on the International Traffic in Arms Regulations which restrict the export of US defense and military technologies. According to the report, the most important aspect is that "hackers have successfully accessed two of the three major JPL networks."
For this reason, NASA is examining the integrity of the data related to the Deep Space Network(DSN), NASA's international array of giant radio antennas that supports interplanetary spacecraft missions. The DSN also provides radar and radio astronomy measurements that improve our understanding of the solar system and in general the whole universe.
The report emphasizes that Johnson Space Center, which is responsible for programs such as the International Space Station, was temporarily disconnected from the gateway to prevent any potential abuses by the attackers.
This vulnerability was caused by a system administrator's failure to update a database that restricts which devices can access the network. Therefore, new devices could be added without proper review.
In response to the attack, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Network "installed additional monitoring systems and is reviewing network access protocols with its external partners."