Get Our Newsletter



Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

August 2019
S M T W T F S
« Jul    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Tag: NASA

Federal Authorities Detain, Search Phone of NASA Scientist at Airport

nasaBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Sidd Bikkannavar, who works at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and is a natural-born U.S. citizen, was detained while trying to reenter the United States just as the President Trump’s controversial immigration ban took effect.

But it didn’t stop there. He said Border Patrol agents confiscated his NASA-issued phone, which could include sensitive information, Gizmodo reports. 

Bikkannavar posted about the incident on Facebook:

Sorry for the absence. On my way home to the US last weekend, I was detained by Homeland Security and held with others who were stranded under the Muslim ban. CBP officers seized my phone and wouldn’t release me until I gave my access PIN for them to copy the data. I initially refused, since it’s a JPL-issued phone (Jet Propulsion Lab property) and I must protect access. Just to be clear – I’m a US-born citizen and NASA engineer, traveling with a valid US passport. Once they took both my phone and the access PIN, they returned me to the holding area with the cots and other sleeping detainees until they finished copying my data.

I’m back home, and JPL has been running forensics on the phone to determine what CBP/Homeland Security might have taken, or whether they installed anything on the device. I’ve also been working with JPL legal counsel. I removed my Facebook page until I was sure this account wasn’t also compromised by the intrusion into my phone and connected apps. I hope no one was worried. JPL issued me a new phone and new phone number, which I’ll give out soon.

Bikkannavar had landed at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas, on Jan. 30, when he was detained and told that the Border Patrol was going to search his phone.

Bikkannavar told authorities that he was no allowed to hand over his phone because he’s required to protect it.

British Man Accused of Hacking FBI, Others, Fears He ‘May Die’ in Prison

hacker-artBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A British man accused of stealing huge amounts of data and hacking into the FBI, NASA and America’s Federal Reserve fears he “may die” in a U.S. jail.

Lauri Love, 31, faces up to 99 years in prison after U.S. officials agreed to his extradition to America, the Mirror reports. 

“I don’t think much of my future life prospects,” Love said. “I face decades and decades behind bars and at worst I may die.

“We were kind of expecting this but it’s still a disappointment and a kick in the gut. I’ve got to watch my mental health now and make sure I have support. We will put as much as we can into the appeal.”

Love hopes to appeal.

FBI Investigates Ohio State University Professor Who Disappeared After NASA Work

Rongxing Li via NASA.

Rongxing Li via NASA.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Professor Rongxing Li gained international attention for his role in helping NASA explore Mars.

But after a decade of help at Ohio State University, Li quit and disappeared. The university made no mention of his departure and removed information about him from the website.

Now, the Columbus Dispatch reports, the FBI is investigating whether Li shared defense secrets with China.

Li, who was the director of the mapping and geographic information system laboratory, “had access to Department of Defense technical information that was prohibited from sharing with the Chinese,” the Dispatch wrote, citing search warrants filed in U.S. District Court in Columbus.

The FBI, OSU and NASA declined to comment.

Professor Sues College, Saying She was Retaliated Against for Talking to FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A physics professor who claims she was retaliated against for alerting the FBI to illegal activities at the California Institute of Technology’s NASA lab sued the school Thursday, the Associated Press reports.

Sandra Troian alleges in the suit that the school violated the whistleblower policy by trying to drive her out. She claims she was falsely accused of wrongdoing and that the school kept her out of events and lectures.

“Instead of resolving the issues around this incident and trying to get to the bottom of it, they decided to cover up the problem and turn up the heat, trumping up one charge after another,” Troian said at a news conference.

The allegations stem from a postdoctoral researcher whom Troian hired to work on a space propulsion system. She said the researcher sent out restricted data and made it available for others to see.

“Two weeks after my last contact with the FBI, my world came crashing down around me, as Caltech started a merciless campaign ongoing to this day of retaliation for my speaking to the FBI,” she said. “I’ve been humiliated, degraded, isolated, treated like a pariah on campus.”

 

Celebrity Hacker Helped Prevent More Than 300 Cyber Attacks As Informant

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has used celebrity hacker “Sabu” to imprison his friends and prevent prevent more than 300 cyber attacks against the U.S. military, NASA and media companies in the past three years, CNN reports.

Hector Monsegur, who used the Sabu moniker online, helped crack down on hacking collectives Anonymous and LulzSec.

In exchange for his help, the government is seeking leniency. Monsegur previously faced up to 26 years in prison for identity theft and credit card fraud.

“Working sometimes literally around the clock, at the direction of law enforcement, Monsegur engaged his co-conspirators in online chats that were critical to confirming their identities and whereabouts,” prosecutors said. “During some of the online chats, at the direction of law enforcement, Monsegur convinced LulzSec members to provide him digital evidence of the hacking activities they claimed to have previously engaged in, such as logs regarding particular criminal hacks.”

Romanian Hacker Breaks into Pentagon, NASA Databases, Draws Investigation

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A 20-year-old Romanian hacker is suspected of breaking into several NASA and Pentagon servers and posting confidential data from the servers on his blog, the Associated Press reports. Romanian officials are investigating the youth, officials said on Tuesday, in cooperation with the FBI.

Razvan Manole Cernaianu, reportedly an information technology student, allegedly offered to sell an app which showed how he broke into the servers as well.

Cernaianu “used sophisticated hacking tools to gain unauthorized access to government and commercial systems,” the US Embassy in Bucharest said in a statement.

To read more click here.

Accused Spy For Israel Had Been Busted for Overbilling NASA

No question Stewart D. Nozette was a smart scientist. But a smart criminal? He pleaded guilty in January to overbilling NASA. You’d think once you’re on the government’s radar you’d avoid — or least be careful — about doing foolish things. You’d think.

Stewart Nozette/nasa photo

Stewart Nozette/nasa photo

By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — Stewart D. Nozette, the Chevy Chase scientist accused last week of attempted espionage, pleaded guilty in January to overbilling NASA and the Defense Department more than $265,000 for contracting work, according to court records unsealed Friday.

Nozette, 52, was arrested last week by federal authorities and accused of selling sensitive government secrets for $11,000 to an FBI agent posing as an Israeli intelligence operative. He faces a sentence of up to life in prison if convicted of attempted espionage.

For Full Story

Feds Indict Ex-NASA Official on Charges of Steering Millions to Private Client

The remnants of corruption from the Bush administration continue to trickle in. In this case, a NASA official may have had more than the success of the space program on his mind.

By NEDRA PICKLER
Associated Press
WASHINGTON – A former top NASA official has been indicted on charges of steering $9.6 million in agency funds to a consulting client.

The U.S. attorney’s office announced a three-count indictment today against Courtney Stadd of Bethesda, Md., who had served as NASA’s chief of staff and White House liaison.

The indictment accuses Stadd of steering money from an earth science appropriation to Mississippi State University, which was paying him as a consultant. Stadd is also accused of lying to NASA ethics officials investigating the matter.

Stadd faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted on all three charges.

For Full Story