News Briefs – June 24, 2019


Iraq boosts security measures at base where U.S. trainers stay

A top Iraqi air force commander says security measures have been increased at one of the country’s largest air bases that houses American trainers, following an attack last week.
The stepped-up Iraqi security measures at Balad air base, just north of the capital, Baghdad, come amid sharply rising tensions in the Middle East between the United States and Iran.
Gen. Falah Fares told The Associated Press on June 22 that the measures include a night-time curfew, boosting security inside and near the base as well as surveillance of nearby areas. He said these measures are being carried out in coordination with the U.S.
Balad air base, home to a squadron of Iraqi F-16 fighter jets, was hit with three mortar shells last week without inflicting casualties. AP

Report: Jet Propulsion Laboratory hacked for 10 months

A report says hackers stole data from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California for nearly a year without being detected.
The Pasadena Star-News reports June 21 that security weaknesses allowed hackers to steal 500 megabytes of data from 23 files, including two containing restricted information related to the Curiosity rover Mars mission.
A report this week from NASA’s Office of the Inspector General says hackers used a credit card-sized computer and a compromised external user account.
They operated for 10 months until the hack was discovered in April 2018.
As a result, NASA temporarily disconnected several space flight-related systems from JPL’s computer network.
The Star-News says hackers also broke into JPL in 2009, 2011, 2014, 2016 and 2017.
NASA recommended security fixes that should be completed over the next year. AP