A Confused Brazilian Hacker May Have Targeted NASA Websites to Protest NSA Surveillance

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Sept. 19 2013 2:21 PM

A Confused Brazilian Hacker May Have Targeted NASA Websites to Protest NSA Surveillance

The Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket launches from the NASA Wallops Flight Facility September 18, 2013 in Wallops Island, Virginia.

Photo by Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images

A Brazilian hacker who took down 14 separate NASA websites last week may have gotten confused and inserted an extra letter when trying to hack the NSA website. The hack specifically targeted websites run by NASA's Ames Research Center, including a site on its Kepler space telescope. The Brazilian hacker(s) managed to post this incoherent message to the NASA domain on Friday:

NASA HACKED! BY #BMPoCWe! Stop spy on us! The Brazilian population do not support your attitude! The Illuminati are now visibly acting!
Obama heartless! Inhumane! you have no family? the point in the entire global population is supporting you. NOBODY! We do not want war, we want peace!!! Do not attack the Syrians.

Then again, it wasn't necessarily a typo that led to the NASA website being hacked—as Lisa Vaas explains in Naked Security, NASA's online presence is more hackable than other government websites, presenting "low-hanging fruit" for "hacktivists." The same Brazilian hacker responsible for Friday's attack also targeted four NASA domains in April. According to a NASA spokeswoman, no sensitive data were compromised.

After reports of NSA snooping in Brazil came out, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff canceled her planned state visit to the White House. While Brazil is considered to have an open internet compared with the United States and other countries, the Brazilian government has taken incremental steps to exert more and more control over its citizens' Internet usage.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Emma Roller is a Slate editorial assistant. Follow her on Twitter.



More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

iOS 8 Comes Out Today. Do Not Put It on Your iPhone 4S.

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.


Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

The Ungodly Horror of Having a Bug Crawl Into Your Ear and Scratch Away at Your Eardrum

My Father Was James Brown. I Watched Him Beat My Mother. Then I Married Someone Like Him.

  News & Politics
Sept. 17 2014 12:02 PM Here It Is: The Flimsiest Campaign Attack Ad of 2014, Which Won’t Stop Running
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
Sept. 17 2014 1:59 PM Ask a Homo: Secret Ally Codes 
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 1:26 PM Hey CBS, Rihanna Is Exactly Who I Want to See on My TV Before NFL Games
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 1:01 PM A Rare, Very Unusual Interview With Michael Jackson, Animated
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 12:35 PM IOS 8 Comes Out Today. Do Not Put It on Your iPhone 4S.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 17 2014 11:18 AM A Bridge Across the Sky
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.