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Another NASA laptop gets stolen, NASA now enforces all machines receive encryption

NASA demands that all notebooks receive encryption, if not, they won't be allowed to be removed from

By Anthony Garreffa on Nov 15, 2012 02:33 am CST - 1 min, 1 sec reading time

One would think this rule would've been enforced on day-one, but another NASA employee's laptop was stolen from a locked car two weeks ago, containing "personally identifiable information". Officials are now concerned that NASA workers are at risk of identity theft.

Another NASA laptop gets stolen, NASA now enforces all machines receive encryption |

The laptop's HDD that was stolen wasn't encrypted, and no top of that, neither were the included sensitive documents. The theft is being used as a wake up call for NASA to severely increase security standards on employees' laptops. This isn't the first leak, as in March of 2011 a laptop was stolen which contained - wait for it - control codes for the damn International Space Station and since, the space agency hasn't beefed up security, until now.

NASA Inspector General, Paul Martin, has told Congress that from April 2009 to April 2011 - a two-year period - that an estimated 48 laptops and mobile devices had been lost or stolen, and worse, just 1% of agency devices were encrypted. Associate deputy administrator Richard Keegan Jr. has, effective immediately, required that "no NASA-issued laptops containing sensitive information can be removed from a NASA facility unless whole disk encryption software is enabled".

On top of this, the space agency plans to have all laptops encrypted by December 21.

Anthony Garreffa

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Anthony Garreffa

Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games to be built around consoles. With FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with high-end, custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU technology is unwavering, and with next-gen NVIDIA GPUs about to launch alongside 4K 144Hz HDR G-Sync gaming monitors and BFGDs (65-inch 4K 120Hz HDR G-Sync TVs) there has never been a time to be more excited about technology.


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