NASA blocks Excite users access : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

NASA blocks Excite users access to Web sites after hacker attack

By Ted Bridis THE WALL STREET JOURNAL WASHINGTON, July 14  The U.S. governments fight to protect itself from hackers escalated when the National Aeronautics and Space Administration quietly blocked access to some of its Web sites from more than 1.5 million subscribers of Excite at Home Corp.

FOR NEARLY 72 HOURS earlier this week, subscribers of Excite at Homes high-speed cable-modem service were unable to visit the Web site for NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and other NASA sites. The labs Web site is one of the Internets most popular destinations and a frequent target for hackers; the site was hit at least 12 times since May 1998, according to Attrition.Org, which monitors hacking activity. Government experts said it was unprecedented for a U.S. agency to block all customers of a major commercial Internet provider  even temporarily. A NASA spokeswoman said the agency doesnt talk about its efforts to secure its computers. Technicians at the Jet Propulsion Lab complained in an e-mail to Excite at Home on July 7 that it was detecting attempts by two subscribers to break into its computers. Bryan Johnson, NASAs system administrator, wrote an internal e-mail three days later warning employees that Excite At Home had been unresponsive to our requests and other NASA center requests for support regarding these scans, and that the lab was blocking Excite at Home customers. The message suggested ways that NASA employees and contractors who use the service while working at home could bypass the block.


-- Martin Thompson (, July 15, 2000

Moderation questions? read the FAQ