Losing a computer containing unencrypted ISS codes earned NASA a stern talking-to from a House subcommittee but apparently didn’t change many attitudes. A NASA staffer in Kansas City just lost another at the start of March. There were no Space Station codes on-board, luckily, just the personal information of every NASA employee in Kansas City.
According to an internal memo from NASA’s HR Director Tracy Wetrich, leaked to SpaceRef, the incident occurred on March 5. The laptop contained “information on NASA KSC employees such as name, social security number, race, national origin, gender, contact phone number, email, date of birth, college affiliation and grade point average.” Basically, an identity thief’s wet dream. The computer is password-protected, which should at least prevent casual snooping, and NASA doesn’t believe it was stolen specifically for the personal information.
Still, you’d think that an agency created during the cold war to compete with the Soviet Union, is constantly being hacked, and houses all sorts of state secrets would have a more comprehensive security setup beyond “just don’t lose it”. [SpaceRef]