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Security fails could put NASA missions at risk

Weak security practices and critical holes in Nasa's agency-wide network could allow an attack over the internet that would disrupt missions and expose sensitive data

Weak security practices and critical holes in NASA's agency-wide network could allow an attack over the internet that would disrupt missions and expose sensitive data, according to a government report.

"Until NASA addresses these critical deficiencies and improves its IT security practices, the agency is vulnerable to computer incidents that could have a severe to catastrophic effect on agency assets, operations and personnel," said the Inspector General's report, titled Inadequate Security Practices Expose Key NASA Network to Cyber Attack (PDF), released on Tuesday.

NASA uses a series of networks to carry out its various missions, which include controlling spacecraft like the International Space Station and conducting science missions like the Hubble Telescope.

For more on this story, read NASA network holes may jeopardize missions on CNET News.