Cyber Actors Increasingly Target NASA during Coronavirus Outbreak

A memo sent to all NASA personnel stated that the company is facing a significant amount of cyberattacks, the attack included phishing and malware attacks to the system, while its workers are working remotely.

The memo stated that the number of email phishing attacks had been doubled in the last few days, and the number of malware attacks on the NASA system has also increased exponentially. The number of blocked attempts to access malicious websites has also doubled.

NASA said that its Security Operations Center had deployed the tools necessary to stop these attacks. However, the workers have been advised to be careful when using the NASA systems and personal systems as the number of cyberattacks will grow exponentially during the coronavirus crisis.

The NASA Memo reads:

NASA employees and jobbers should be informed that nation-states and cybercriminals are actively using the COVID-19 pandemic to abuse and target NASA’s electronic devices, networks, and personal devices. These attackers are targeting NASA with illegal intentions that include accessing sensitive information such as user names and passwords, conducting opposition of service attacks, spreading misinformation, and carrying out scams.

What are the Latest Tricks used by Cyber Attackers?

Cybercriminals have increased sending emails with malicious attachments and links to fraud websites where they can trick you into hacking sensitive information and gaining access to the systems and the data of NASA. The trick used by hackers is to spread fake news about:

  • Donations for COVID-19

  • Updates on virus transmission,

  • Safety measures for coronavirus

  • Refunding of tax

  • Fake vaccines of COVID-19

  • And similar disinformation campaigns.

NASA’s Security Measures

The memo instructed the personnel of NASA to be vigilant of these attacks. Some of the instructions asked the personnel to:

  • Visit the specific NASA website given to them to access and view the information about their work during the COVID-19 crisis.

  • Use NASA VPN for any work-related purposes

  • Avoid opening the emails and social media applications through NASA devices as they can be used for breach.

  • Ensure that the NASA devices’ software is always up to date and have the latest patches,

  • Emails should be encrypted if they contain sensitive information.

  • Avoid sending financial and personal info in the email.

NASA says almost 75% of their working force is working from their homes.

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