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NASA sells PCs still containing data
Category : General 10 Dec 2010 11:12 AM | Industry News
“The weaknesses we identified in NASA's IT sanitization policy and procedures put NASA at risk of releasing sensitive information that could cause harm to its mission and violate federal laws and regulations that protect such information,” the report stated.
The investigators also found hard drives that were missing from Kennedy and the Langley Research Center in Virginia. Some of the hard drives were later found inside a publicly accessible dumpster.
Another four PCs about to be sold were found to contain data subject to export control by the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, the agency said.
The computers were being sold off as NASA prepares to end its space shuttle operations, with the last flight scheduled for June 2011.
NASA internal auditors discovered that agency procedures for confirming the erasure of data from PCs used in the shuttle program have not always been followed and that some PCs that had failed those verification tests were still being put up for sale.
Dozens of PCs at the Kennedy equipment disposal facility had external markings listing network details that could potentially provide hackers with "unauthorized access to NASA's internal computer network," the auditors' report said.
NASA says it will review and update its equipment disposal procedures.