A laptop with data on thousands of employees and contractors has been stolen from a NASA employee’s car. According to Reuters, the US space government agency alleges that, although the stolen device was password-protected, its hard drive wasn’t encrypted, making it relatively easy to access the data.
It’s not yet definite how many data sets on employees and contractors are impacted – Reuters reports that the figure is in the thousands.
NASA has contracted a specialist consulting company to discover and contact individuals affected by the data breach, alleging that the operation could take up to 60 days due to the large amount of data.
NASA is now instructed its employees to use full disk encryption(FDE) to lock down hard drives on all devices that process vital information by 21 December. From that date, no unencrypted NASA-issued laptop or mobile devices can leave NASA facilities, regardless of whether or not they contain sensitive data.